Reef walk campaign comes to Airlie Beach
IT HAS become grandmother June Norman’s mission to complete an epic 80 day, 1200 kilometre journey to save the Great Barrier Reef.
Her arrival in the Whitsundays marked the halfway point of her journey as she walked with a crowd of more than 30 Whitsunday residents from the Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) building to the Airlie Beach foreshore on Saturday.
Ms Norman said she was completing the walk from Cairns to Gladstone to raise awareness about the threats to the reef from industrialisations and mega-ports.
“The reef is our children’s future, this is my grandchil- dren’s future and I don’t want to see them standing on my grave saying ‘why did you allow this to happen?’,” the 72year-old said.
“I hope to empower the everyday person to stand up and have a say and speak out so we can preserve the reef for our future generations.”
Founder of Order of the Underwater Coral Heroes (OUCH) Tony Fontes said the reef was deteriorating and urged community members to take action.
“Being a diver, the reef is my livelihood and the most notable effect is the degradation of coral which has to do with the impacts we are creating such as water quality, climate change and coal port expansion,” he said.
Greens candidate for Dawson Jonathon Dykyj said it was positive seeing the community come together to raise awareness about the issues that are impacting the Great Barrier Reef.
“There are a number of environment issues in ply but our economy is also tightly linked to the health of the reef through tourism and fishing, and so I am here to stand alongside the community and help voice those opinions,” he said.
Ms Norman will be arriving in Mackay tomorrow, with the walk concluding upon her arrival in Gladstone next month.
For more information visit http://reefwalk2013.com.
ENVIRONMENTAL CAMPAIGN: Australian Marine Conservation Society representative Cherry Muddle joined grandmother June Norman at the VMR on Saturday to help her complete the walk to the Airlie Beach foreshore which marks the half way point of an epic 80 day, 1200 kilometre journey to save the Great Barrier Reef.