Gladstone kids help the reef

GLADSTONE'S future environmental leaders participated in a day of educational activities at Quoin Island on Thursday to help protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The activities were part of the annual Future Leaders Eco-Challenge, which was run as part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's (GBRMPA) Reef Guardian Schools program.

The theme this year was community stewardship in action. Students did a marine debris clean-up, activities about mangroves, water quality and local habitats and made reusable bags from recycled t-shirts.

GBRMPA liaison officer Holly Lambert said the event aimed to encourage students to learn about and care for their local environment, in turn contributing to the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

"The Gladstone region has a strong connection to the neighbouring Great Barrier Reef and the local teachers and students have an important role to play in its future,” Ms Lambert said.

"The event aims to empower them, give them a sense of involvement in the bigger environmental picture, and encourage them to make a positive difference. "Environmental projects in Reef Guardian schools contribute to broader actions that are helping protect the reef - all actions, big or small, are vital to the reef.”

There were 47 students and 14 teachers from 12 schools participating in the challenge.

This event was supported by Port Curtis Harbour Watch through Gladstone Port Corporation Community Investment Program and Fitzroy Basin Association through the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.

Future Leaders Eco Challenges will take place in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Port Douglas, Innisfail, the Whitsundays, Burdekin, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Capricorn Coast, Mackay, Ingham and Bowen.

The Reef Guardian Schools program includes 276 schools, over 120,000 students and 7400 teachers from Brisbane to the Torres Strait.

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