Nur­tur­ing na­ture in Whit­sun­days

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

PRO­TECT­ING the reef, our coast­line and lo­cal flora and fauna was the agenda of the many groups who gath­ered to­gether at the Whit­sun­day PCYC on Tues­day night.

Present at this in­au­gu­ral “Na­ture Cel­e­bra­tion” were a va­ri­ety of not-for-profit and gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing Whit­sun­day Catch­ment Land­care, Sea­grass Watch, Fauna Res­cue Whit­sun­days, Eco Barge Clean Seas, Queens­land Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice and the Great Bar­rier Reef Marine Park Author­ity.

Sea­grass Watch spokesper­son Jac­qui Sheils said the evening was a good way to raise aware­ness of what the dif­fer­ent groups did and an op­por­tu­nity to re­cruit new vol­un­teers.

“We have peo­ple in the group who’ve been mon­i­tor- ing sea­grass since 1998 but it’s al­ways good to have a few new ones come along,” she said.

Aus­tralian Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety cam­paigner Cherry Mud­dle said there were plenty of familiar faces prov­ing Whit­sun­day res­i­dents were al­ready very en­gaged.

“And now they’re just en­cour­ag­ing us to keep up the fight,” she said.

Or­gan­iser Tony Fontes said the event at­tracted around 50 peo­ple, with some sign­ing on to help out.

“I spoke to a few groups there and they were happy be­cause they picked up a few ex­tra vol­un­teers along the way,” he said.

Mr Fontes also said “there was a lot of cross-pol­li­na­tion” be­tween the groups, al­low­ing them to share ideas.

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