Students in bid to help protect reef
THIRTY local primary school students swapped the classroom for Dickson Inlet and Four Mile Beach this week to learn how clean water is essential to protect the reef.
Officially, the students were taking part in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Sustaining Biodiversity Future Leaders Eco Challenge to celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity and the Education Queensland Year of Sustainability.
For the students, it was all about spotting crocodiles off the Lady Douglas, planting trees and going for a low-tide beach walk.
“We saw three crocs,” said Nic Cooper.
“We also tested the water in lots of different spots, checking the temperature, pH and visibility, things like that.
“Visibility was worse in the marina than in the inlet.”
Following the river trip, the students spent an hour at Four Mile Beach park, planting bush cabbage and other native species suitable for the area.
“It’ll stop people taking shortcuts to the beach, and help prevent erosion,” Jack Glover said.
The Reef Guardian Schools program is an education initiative of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that develops partnerships between schools and their communities to work towards a sustainable future for the Great Barrier Reef.
Approximately 60,000 students across Queensland work on various environmental and sustainability projects throughout the year both within their classrooms and playgrounds and in their local communities.
“The key objective of the Reef Guardian Schools program is to create awareness, understanding and appreciation for the Reef and connected ecosystems,” Reef Guardian schools program manager Megan Sperring said.
“It is designed to empower students and give them a sense of involvement in the bigger picture and the belief that they really can make a positive difference.”
Rescue the reef: St Augustine’s students Jack Glover and Nic Cooper help teacher Angela Raldini plant a tree at Four Mile Beach