GBR Legacy plans first re­search trip

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Gizelle Ghidella

THE Great Bar­rier Reef Legacy has re­ceived strong sup­port from the cor­po­rate sec­tor and lo­cal com­mu­nity for its cam­paign to fund a reef re­search ves­sel’s first voy­age in Septem­ber.

A choice of two ves­sels has been of­fered to the or­gan­i­sa­tion which will al­low scientists, stu­dents and teach­ers, the me­dia and the pub­lic free ac­cess to the reef.

“We’re sup­port­ing re­search for not just Jame Cook Uni­ver­sity but across Aus­tralia and across the world to in­crease the re­search be­ing done,” said Dr Dean Miller, direc­tor of sci­ence and me­dia at the GBR Legacy.

The GBR Legacy is plan­ning its first re­search ex­pe­di­tion later this year “right on our doorstep,” Dr Miller said.

“We’re look­ing at the health of the reef from Port Dou­glas north which was the hard­est hit sec­tion for the last two bleach­ing events.”

To cover the op­er­at­ing costs of the ves­sel GBR Legacy has launched a crowd­fund­ing cam- paign, which has al­ready raised more than a quar­ter of the funds needed for the first ex­pe­di­tion, in Septem­ber.

“Were just very ex­cited, es­pe­cially from the sup­port we’re get­ting around town,” he said.

“It’s been phe­nom­e­nal and we couldn’t be hap­pier to have our home right here in Port Dou­glas where the ship will op­er­ate from and we’re look­ing for­ward to be­ing a very sig­nif­i­cant part of the com­mu­nity,” Dr Miller said.

Peo­ple who do­nate at least $50 to the “Help Float the Boat” cam­paign will have a chance to win a trip for two on a six-day ex­pe­di­tion to swim with the reef’s minke whales.

Pic­ture: LACHIE MIL­LARD

Marine bi­ol­o­gist Dr Dean Miller

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