Students travel to take part in reef campaign
IT SEEMS the current state of the Great Barrier Reef is continuing to cause a stir across the seas as students from the Chinese Environment Protection Foundation travelled to Airlie Beach last week to take part in community action to protect the iconic reef.
Students attended Whitsunday Shopping Centre on Thursday with Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping (WRAD) committee and community members to hand deliver letters to Australia’s big banks asking them to stop contributing to the dredging and expansion of Abbot Point.
Whitsunday resident and co-founder of the Order of Underwater Coral Heroes (OUCH), Tony Fontes also discussed the complex ecosystems found in the reef with the students during his popular reef discovery talk.
WRAD spokesperson Brittney Gregory and Australian Marine Conservation Society’s organiser Cherry Muddle also addressed the students and answered questions.
Ms Muddle said it was inspiring to witness the students concerns about the dredging and dumping threatening the reef.
“The students and teachers travelled all the way from China to Australia for the first time last Thursday after hearing about the Fight for the Reef campaign. They felt moved to see the Great Barrier and take part in community action to protect it,” she said.
The international students inscribed a banner with ‘Save our Reef’ written in Mandarin.
The Chinese Environment Protection Foundation was the first non profit organisation dedicated to environmen- tal protection in China, and is a non-governmental organisation with special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.
Ms Muddle said the com- munity and the rest of the world will continue the fight to protect the reef.
“The local community is really worried about the impacts of dredging and dump- ing. The eyes of the world on are on the decisions being made by Australian governments about the future of the Reef,” Ms Muddle said.
PASSIONATE FROM AFAR: A group of international Students from China Environmental Protection Foundation with local environmental conservationists Cherry Muddle, Tony Fontes and Brittney Gregory.