Reef Blitz a hit in Can­non­vale

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

CAN­NON­VALE Beach played host to hun­dreds of vol­un­teer sci­en­tists over the week­end.

Re­search un­der­taken by lo­cal and in­ter­state vol­un­teers, in­clud­ing some lo­cal stu­dents, might pro­vide an­swers into pre­serv­ing the Great Bar­rier Reef.

ReefBlitz, or­gan­ised by the Great Bar­rier Reef Foun­da­tion, saw more than 400 peo­ple at­tend over Fri­day and Satur­day.

Vol­un­teers an­a­lysed data and kept track of lo­cal wildlife on Can­non­vale Beach and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

State Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion An­drew Pow­ell said the re­search done by vol­un­teers was im­por­tant.

“With that data we’re go­ing to in­crease our knowl­edge of the Great Bar­rier Reef and the sur­round­ing catch­ments,” Mr Pow­ell said.

“With that knowl­edge we’re go­ing to be able to make bet­ter de­ci­sions and en­sure that we con­tinue to man- age and pro­tect the Great Bar­rier Reef into the fu­ture.” “Sci­ence needs to un­der­pin all of our de­ci­sions, whether that be at a coun­cil level, or around where you put de­vel­op­ment, or at the state level around our port man­age­ment, or work­ing with our cane and grazing farm­ers, mak­ing sure our de­ci­sions are based on sci­ence, that we can get an eco­nomic growth com­po­nent, but that we can also pro­tect the en­rivon­ment for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

State Mem­ber for Whit­sun­day Ja­son Costi­gan said tourism was also set to ben­e­fit from the re­search.

“A lot of peo­ple come here from around Queens­land, around the na­tion, around the world and they come here for good rea­son,” Mr Costi­gan said.

“They come here to en­joy our marine life.

“ReefBlitz is a tremen­dous ini­tia­tive – it’s a step in the right di­rec­tion.”

RE­SEARCH TIME: Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion An­drew Pow­ell, Earth­watch In­sti­tute pro­fes­sor David McInnes, As­sis­tant Min­is­ter for Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Mines Seath Hol­swich, Great Bar­rier Reef Foun­da­tion man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Claire Han­ratty, State Mem­ber for Whit­sun­day Ja­son Costi­gan and Great Bar­rier Reef Foun­da­tion di­rec­tor Phillip Stra­chan.

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