Local community groups along the Great Barrier Reef have been awarded $1.4 million across twenty-five Reef protection projects that contribute to improving Reef health.
Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden said every Australian has a role to play in preserving this icon and these grants are going to locals who know first-hand the practical steps needed to protect the Reef.
“These projects will empower people to be part of the solution and will see local on-ground action in Reef regions ranging from turtle and Reef health monitoring to reducing litter entering the Reef catchments in Townsville, Mackay, Gladstone and Bundaberg,” Ms Marsden said.
“The task of saving the Reef can appear enormous, but the cumulative difference that will come out of these local action projects will have real impact on the Great Barrier Reef.
“Australians from all walks of life have been rising to the challenge as the Reef has been under more pressure than ever before and these grants allow them to go further in their efforts to protect the Reef.
“The twenty-five grants are for successful applicants from two Community Reef Protection grant rounds (Local Action through the Local Marine Advisory Committees and Citizen Science).
“The Local Marine Advisory Committees are volunteers who are facilitated by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and have been working for over 20 years to address regional threats, they have tapped into their local knowledge and community networks to put forward on-ground local action projects that will have real results in their area.
“One project with a local Innisfail school, will allow school children to re-vegetate a waterway by removing weeds and replanting with native vegetation, resulting in cleaner water reaching the Reef.
“Citizen scientists have a legacy on the Reef of giving up their own time to collect data that can be used by a range of organisations, including the Marine Park Authority, to contribute up to date information on the health of the Reef. These projects will ensure that they are supported and can expand on their current roles.
“This includes projects such as monitoring nesting marine turtles along the Capricorn and Curtis coast as well as Wreck Rock Beach, piloting a place-based citizen science reporting system in Port Douglas, developing a cloud-based image platform and addressing a significant knowledge gap in the condition and health of seagrass and saltmarsh in key locations along the coast.”
The Community Reef Protection projects are funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
The Reef Trust Partnership includes $10 million for Community Reef Protection over six years.
Today’s announcement builds on previous work of the Reef Trust Partnership including over $19 million worth of water quality improvement grants and an $1.5m investment in the Traditional Owner Reef protection grant round (to be announced shortly). The GBRF has also announced a health check on the remote far northern reefs delivered by the Australian Institute of Marine Science in partnership with JCU (January 2019), and the largest single investment in Traditional Owner Reef Protection (announced in January 2019). This is in addition to the release of 10 strategic plans under the Partnership, including the Investment Strategy which provides an enduring road map for Reef protection.
A full list of the successful applicants and a brief description of their projects is available HERE.
GBRF Sarah Henderson +61 429 890 087