More CoralWatch ambassadors to keep watch over the Reef

Published Tuesday, 12 September, 2017 at 08:00 AM

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
The Honourable Steven Miles

Citizen science group CoralWatch will create two more positions to keep watch over the Great Barrier Reef, thanks to funding from the Palaszczuk Government.

Environment Minister Steven Miles said the non-profit organisation would receive $329,000 over the next three years to boost its ambassador and community education programs.

“The Great Barrier Reef is incredibly precious to all Australians, and provides habitat for some of the world’s most magnificent marine animals,” Mr Miles said.

“This iconic asset is valued at $56 billion and supports 64,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“It’s organisations like CoralWatch that are helping us monitor the health of the Reef, and take the sustainable living message to the wider community.

“Funding from the Government’s $12 million Community Sustainability Action Grants program will help CoralWatch expand its Ambassadors program.

“These are the people who carry out community education work, data collection and citizen science programs.

“Their work also includes distributing Coral Health Charts, delivering remote learning programs in partnership with school events, and live-streaming events.”

The Coral Health Chart was developed by scientists at the University of Queensland in 2002.

“The chart uses a series of colours to determine the health of the Reef and is simple to use,” Mr Miles said.

“The chart is held up next to the coral and a note is made of the colour. The colour gives clues as to the health of that particular reef.

“The data collected can be provided to CoralWatch through its website, and used to monitor the health of Queensland reef.

“This is citizen science at its best, and it is really key in helping to map the health of the Great Barrier Reef.”

The University of Queensland’s Professor Justin Marshall thanked the Queensland Government for funding the CoralWatch ambassador program.

“Keeping a close watch on our reef systems is more important now than ever before,” Professor Marshall said.

“This funding will create materials to raise awareness and gather data for use by scientists, schools, reef managers and the public who are interested in the health of the reef.”

“Through participation in outdoor activities and in the classroom, CoralWatch aims to reduce the confusion around coral reefs and their current state.

“We want people to make up their own minds about what sort of future they want for Queensland’s marine environment.”


Media contact: Alison Brown - 0477 377 622