Stu­dents in­volved in ac­tions to pro­tect reef

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

MORE than 55 stu­dents and teach­ers from five Reef Guardian Schools in the Whit­sun­days swapped the class­room for the out­doors to fur­ther their learn­ing about ac­tions that can pro­tect the Great Bar­rier Reef last Thurs­day.

The schools in­cluded Can­non­vale State School, St Cather­ine’s Catholic School, Whit­sun­day Chris­tian School, Hamil­ton Is­land State School and Hay­man Is­land State School.

The day-long ac­tiv­i­ties were part of the Great Bar­rier Reef Ma­rine Park Au­thor­ity’s (GBRMPA) an­nual Future Lead­ers Eco Chal­lenges that raise aware­ness about how ac­tiv­i­ties on the land can af­fect the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment.

The day was well sup­ported by a range of lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal groups.

GBRMPA Li­ai­son Of­fi­cer Katie Finch said the day was about work­ing with com­mu­nity part­ners and school com­mu­ni­ties to look af­ter to­day for to­mor­row’s future.

“It was fan­tas­tic, all the chil­dren were ex­cited to be in the out­doors and learn­ing with ex­perts in the field,” he said.

The day in­cluded talks from fish­eries bi­ol­o­gist Tim Mars­den and Cane Grow­ers Proser­pine and pest man­age­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive Chris­tine Peter­son.

Stu­dents planted trees in Gal­braith Creek, took place in a reef re­growth mon­i­tor­ing ac­tiv­ity, toured Goor­ganga wet­lands and vis­ited a work­ing cane farm to look at sus­tain­able farm­ing tech­niques.

Guardian Schools has been run­ning since 2003 and is an en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram run by the Great Bar­rier Reef Ma­rine Park Au­thor­ity to help raise aware­ness and un­der­stand­ing about the Reef.

REEF TALK: Lo­cal fish­ing ex­pert Tim Mars­den talked to stu­dents about pest fish tilapia and stop­ping the spread.

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