The Reef Trust Partnership Community Reef Protection component has an open call to lead a collaborative planning process to accelerate the impact of local community actions.

#Community Reef Protection

The Community Reef Protection Component is a $10 million dollar investment through the Reef Trust Partnership which aims to improve the engagement of the broader community in the protection of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The actions delivered through this Component seek to turbo-charge the positive impact that local action has for the Great Barrier Reef and for people. It will build-on and celebrate work already underway through committed groups and individuals across the Reef and catchments. Yet, it also acknowledges that to meet the scale and urgency of the challenges we face, more must be done and we must find new ways to work together to make change happen.  

Projects will support and enhance people’s capacity to deliver on-ground action that reduces Reef threats and increases Reef resilience. This will be achieved by making it easier for people to get involved and stay involved in conservation of the Reef (irrespective of where they live); improving sharing, connection and collaboration between individuals, community groups, and Reef managers; and providing hope that inspires greater action by demonstrating that the collective efforts of many can and will make a difference.


#Focus areas


Connecting community with decision making to improve information exchange


Accelerating local action and supporting collaboration


Building understanding, hope and community leadership to drive positive change

#CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECTS

Connecting Community & Science for the Reef

Wreck Rock Turtle Monitoring Project

Wreck Rock Turtle Monitoring Project

Location: Wreck Rock Beach, south of 1770
Supported by: Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services, Gidarjil Development Corporation, Relics Revived, Bundaberg Outdoor Power Centre, Sunshine Coast Square Dance Centre, Bunnings and Discovery Coast Environment Centre.

Wreck Rock Beach is only one of two areas in the South Pacific region that produces predominately female turtle hatchlings, this is an issue for the survival of the species. Turtle Care Volunteers Queensland Inc. will engage ;volunteers to monitor population information provided to land managers to implement response strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of climate and weather factors and other threats such as predation, with the goal to increase in the numbers of hatchlings from this site.

Team Turtle CQ

Team Turtle CQ

Location: Capricorn and Curtis coasts in Central Queensland
Supported by: Livingstone Shire Council, Gladstone Regional Council, Southern QLD NRM, QLD Turtle Conservation Project, Conservation Volunteers Australia and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services.

The Team Turtle CQ Project aims to empower community volunteers to participate in citizen science, recording data on nesting marine turtles along the Capricorn and Curtis coasts of Central Queensland. Project data is used to inform a behaviour change campaign to help implement on-ground action to protect nesting beaches and reduce impacts threatening local turtles.

Community Caring for Sea Country: Seagrass

Community Caring for Sea Country: Seagrass

Location: Bustard Bay
Supported by: Central Queensland University, James Cook University, The Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, Department of Environment and Science, Discovery Coast Environment Group.

Led by the Gidarjil Land and Sea rangers, with guidance and participation from Elders of the Port Curtis Coral Coast (PCCC) region, this project will address a significant knowledge gap in the condition and health of seagrass and saltmarsh in Bustard Bay. Traditional Owners, youth and community members will join field-based training and data collection activities to establish and monitor local seagrass using the Seagrass Watch.

Amplifying Reef Citizen Science

Amplifying Reef Citizen Science

Location: Port Douglas Supported by: Queensland University of Technology, Douglas Shire Council, Seastar Cruises, Wavelength, Calypso, Low Isles Preservation Society, Eye to Eye Marine Encounters and Reef Ecologic.

A new model for place-based citizen science data integration and reporting will be piloted, with potential opportunities for scaling to other locations. This project will demonstrate how multiple citizen science datasets can be collected and combined for three sites (inshore, offshore, midshelf) to improve model estimates and predictive performance of Reef health and reported using a central platform.

Cairns and Far North Queensland MangroveWatch

Cairns and Far North Queensland MangroveWatch

Location: Cairns – Seven estuaries within the Wet Tropics and Southern Cape York region.
Supported by: South Cape York Catchments, Mangrove Watch, GBR Legacy, Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation.

This project will enhance existing MangroveWatch monitoring by facilitating citizen science tidal wetland data collection on ecosystem condition in seven estuaries within the Wet Tropics and Southern Cape York region. The project scales previously established MangroveWatch methods in new locations and demonstrated connectivity across multiple sites and land to sea connections.

Combining Citizen Science and innovative technologies to enhance reef management

Combining Citizen Science and innovative technologies to enhance reef management

Location: Reef wide Supported by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Great Barrier Reef Legacy

Develop a cloud-based image platform, Virtual Reef Diver, and integrate with the existing Eye on the Reef app to enable the upload of underwater and classification of images showing the seafloor. This close an adaptive management loop by enabling data to be analysed together and deliver predictive maps that can be downloaded and summarised to facilitate, local, regional, and GBR scale reporting that are accessible to reef communities.

Protecting wetlands for the future

Protecting wetlands for the future

Location: Cairns, Mackay, Yeppoon and Gladstone
Supported by: Mangrove Watch, Cool Australia, Holloways Beach Environment Education Centre, Mackay Christian College, North Keppel Island Environment Education Centre, Boyne Island Env Edu Centre.

This project will support teacher training, student engagement and curriculum materials to help to deliver a framework for a standardised school-based Mangrove Watch monitoring program. Data can inform local mangrove management and conservation.

Extending the success of REDMAP Australia to Queensland

Extending the success of REDMAP Australia to Queensland

Location: Port Douglas, Cairns, Townsville, Whitsundays, Bundaberg/Rockhampton Supported by University of Tasmania, Marine Teachers Association of QLD, Queensland Museum.

The project seeks to inform, engage and educate fishers, divers, boaters and the general public about marine species that are shifting southwards with warming waters. Program ambassadors will be trained along the coast to engage with SCUBA, snorkelling and fishing organisations to help communities report on unusual sightings and track key species.

Building understanding through participation in seagrass mapping and data visualisation

Building understanding through participation in seagrass mapping and data visualisation

Location: Innisfail/Cairns, Ayr/Townsville, Ingham, Mackay, Gladstone, Bundaberg Supported by: Australian Data Science Education Institute, Ingham State High School, Mackay North State High School, Inisfail State College, Holy Spirit College, Tooloola State High School, Bundaberg Christian College, Trinity Bay State High School, Burdekin Christian College and Chanel College.

This project works to address a knowledge gap in seagrass spatial extent by training high schools students along the coast to collect and share rapid spatial assessments of seagrass.

Great Barrier Reef health monitoring and training project

Great Barrier Reef health monitoring and training project

Location: Cairns
Supported by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Calypso Productions and Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef

This project will train tourism operators to undertake geo-referenced photo sections as an expanded activity for GBRMPA’s Eye on The Reef program. It will engage a minimum of eight local operators and provide a replicable model for other regions. This will also include trialling and implementing explores models for engaging guests in activities, including internship programs and Master Reef Guide led programs for visitors.

Educating communities to help ACT and PROTECT our GBR

Educating communities to help ACT and PROTECT our GBR

Location: Palm Islands and Keppel Islands
Supported by Boyne Island Environment Education Centre, North Keppel Environment Education Centre, Jina Gunduy Sustainability Hub, Palm Island and Marine Teachers Association Queensland.

CoralWatch will partner with Environmental Education Centres to develop reef citizen science materials tailored to the coastal areas of Palm Island, North Keppel Island, Gladstone and Heron Island. This will include curriculum linked lesson plans, coral identification sheets, virtual reef posters and display material for EEC’s and other suitable venues, as well as field-based data collection activities.

Lady Musgrave Reef Custodians

Lady Musgrave Reef Custodians

Location: Lady Musgrave Island
Supported by Gidarjil Development Corporation (GDC), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), University of Queensland (UQ)/CoralWatch, Kalkie State School and Bundaberg Regional Council.

This project will build a collaborative model for citizen science at Lady Musgrave working with local Traditional Owners, schools, Reef managers and community groups to collect Reef health data through CoralWatch and Eye on the Reef programs.

Integrated coral reef citizen science

Integrated coral reef citizen science

Location: Townsville, Palm Islands (Orpheus and Great Palm)
Supported by: GBR Legacy, Reef Check Australia, JCU Orpheus Island Research Station, CoralWatch, GBRMPA, Ecosure, Campbell Page, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council, St Michaels School Palm Island, Coral Sea Foundation, Museum of Underwater Art and Jina Gunduy Ltd.

This project aims to integrate existing citizen science organisations and complementary reef monitoring projects in the Townsville region (Eye on the Reef, Reef Check, Coral Watch, Reef Recovery, Earth Watch, Virtual Reef Diver) and increase collaboration between multiple reef citizen science organisations to deliver a broader suite of not only ecological, but also socio-economic information from their monitoring activities.

Whitsunday reef monitoring for long-term health

Whitsunday reef monitoring for long-term health

Location: Whitsundays
Supported by Reef Ecologic, Great Barrier Reef Legacy, Order of Underwater Heroes and The University of Queensland.

Reef Check Australia will continue collecting reef health data on long-term sites in the Whitsundays region, as well as working with project partners to expand the number of volunteers engaged in GBRMPA Reef Health and Impact Survey (RHIS) methods. The project will also train the first cohort of Reef Ambassadors as enthusiastic community leaders looking to promote information about the condition of our coral reefs and what communities can do to help.

Whitsunday Water Quality Monitoring Blue Print for Tourism Operators

Whitsunday Water Quality Monitoring Blue Print for Tourism Operators

Location: Whitsundays

Supported by: James Cook University, Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership, North Queensland Bulk Ports and Reef Catchments

Whitsunday Bareboat Operators Association – representing 6 companies and 150 vessels

Training of tourism operators to build on water quality monitoring at key tourism locations. The project will collaboratively develop a framework for connecting citizen science the regional report card partnership.


#LOCAL ACTION PROJECTS

Local Marine Advisory Committees collaborating with community to find solutions for local Reef threats

Flying Fish Point State School Billabong

Flying Fish Point State School Billabong

Cassowary Coast Local Marine Advisory Committee
Supported by Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Johnstone Region Landcare and Ma:Mu

This project will upgrade the open channel that borders the Flying Fish Point State School to a functioning billabong. This unique partnership will improve stormwater quality flowing from the catchment to the Reef while educating the next generation by incorporating wetland management into the school’s curriculum.

Townsville Urban Marine Debris Strategy Development

Townsville Urban Marine Debris Strategy Development

Townsville Local Marine Advisory Committee Supported by Healthy Land & Water, Reef Urban Stormwater Management Improvement Group and James Cook University.

The project aims to identify and reduce land-based sources of marine debris, create relevant engagement and educational materials for the whole Reef catchment and recommend cost effective local actions to reduce litter entering the marine environment.

Restoration of Twin Creek

Restoration of Twin Creek

Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee
Supported by Whitsunday Catchment Landcare, Reef Catchments.

The project will see a section of a degraded urban creek system replanted with native species. This aims to increase the roughness within the waterway and bind sediments, to slow water flow and reduce erosion.

What a load of rubbish! Sorting out its source

What a load of rubbish! Sorting out its source

Mackay Local Marine Advisory Committee
Supported by Mackay Regional Council, Cleanwater Group.

Gross Pollutant Traps (GPTs) throughout Mackay have been audited to identify hotspot areas, or areas where a particular item (e.g. cigarettes) are abundant. This project will use this data to approach businesses in hot spot locations to implement source-reduction plans and pilot projects. Five GPTs will also be installed in high pollutant areas throughout the Mackay region to further reduce debris entering the ocean.

What’s down our drains?

What’s down our drains?

Gladstone & Capricorn Coast Local Marine Advisory Committees
Supported by: Livingstone Shire Council (LSC), Rockhampton Regional Council (RRC), Gladstone Regional Council (GRC), CleanWater Group, Capricorn Coast Landcare, Capricornia Catchments, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Tangaroa Blue Foundation and CQ University – Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre.

This project will see Drain Buddies installed into river litter hotspot areas that will enable the litter types to be analysed. This data will be used to identify what item/s to target in a behaviour change and source reduction project.

#LessisMore – Seeding behaviour change in the Bundaberg community

#LessisMore – Seeding behaviour change in the Bundaberg community

Bundaberg Local Marine Advisory Committee
Supported by: Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers Cooperative Limited, Gidarjil Development Corporation, Kalkie State School, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Bundaberg Regional Council, Canegrowers Bundaberg, Bargara State School

The #LessisMore pilot project will initiate positive behaviour change for the Great Barrier Reef within the Bundaberg community. The three simple actions it will focus on are: targeting single use plastics for primary schools by teaching students how to make beeswax wraps, encouraging smokers to ‘vote for the Reef’ by placing their butt in a bin and reducing the amount of plastic straws with a paper for plastic straw replacement program for local cafes and school tuckshops.

Creating sensitive visitors to the Great Barrier Reef Northern Region

Creating sensitive visitors to the Great Barrier Reef Northern Region

Cape York Local Marine Advisory Committee
Supported by Cooktown Chamber of Commerce and Tourism

Working with local Traditional Owners, scientists, community members and school students, this project will create an inspiring guide to visiting and using the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, without damaging it. This guide will be a Call-To-Action to excite tourists and locals into doing their bit to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Inspiring steps towards a sustainable Shire

Inspiring steps towards a sustainable Shire

Port Douglas Local Marine Advisory Committee
Supported by Douglas Shire Council and Sugarcane Growers

The project will create a series of vignettes showcasing leaders in the region who are improving water quality by implementing change into their everyday work practises across agriculture, tourism and community development. This will put a spotlight on what can be done in the community and create a practical guide to inspire change in business practices throughout the Douglas Shire and beyond.

Warriors of the Waterways – A unifying story

Warriors of the Waterways – A unifying story

Cairns Local Marine Advisory Committee Project delivered with support from Cairns Regional Council, Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways Partnership, Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre, Mangrove Watch and Treeforce.

Healthy creeks lead to healthy reefs, this project will use a grassroots campaign to celebrate current and initiate community-powered waterway health initiatives in Cairns.

 Leaving no footprints

Leaving no footprints

Bowen Local Marine Advisory Committee
Supported by: Whitsunday Regional Council, a local Reef Guardian School and= Reef Check Australia

This Reef education program aims to educate visitors and locals in the region about the importance of the local reef and marine life and how to enjoy accessible local reefs without impacting the environment, or leaving any footprints behind.