Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Ten Queensland schools have been rewarded for their committment to protecting the Great Barrier Reef

Media release
18 November 2010

Tony Burke, Minister for the Environment, said each of the ten schools located in the Great Barrier Reef catchment would receive a funding grant of $1000 to continue and build on the good work they have already undertaken.

"The Reef Guardian Schools Program provides students, teachers and their communities with the opportunity to instigate positive change for the environment in the face of threats like climate change," Mr Burke said.

"It is fantastic to see the contribution our young people are making to protect the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef and reduce the pressures on its ecosystem.

"The Great Barrier Reef is home to over 5000 marine speacies and is one of the healthiest coral reef systems in the world.

"These awards and funding grants will assist the schools to further their onground projects and implement their Reef Guardian Action Plans.

"I congratulate all the schools receiving these awards and applaud the many people in their school communities who have worked together to make their schools outstanding guardians of one of Australia's national icons."

Reef Guardian Schools are located throughout the Great Barrier Reef catchment and each undertakes a variety of activities aimed at ultimately improving the Reef's health and resilience.

These activities include rehabilitating creeks and wetlands, water quality monitoring, recycling, and carbon sequestration projects.

Through these activities students learn about the connections between the land and the Reef and the role they can play in looking after it.

All Reef Guardian Schools manage their own resources (energy, waste, water and biodiversity), and educate their friends, families and communities about the difference we can all make to the future health of the Reef by acting now.

The Reef Guardian Schools program is an education initiative of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Entering its eighth year, this education program currently sees more than 60 000 students from over 230 schools committed to the protection and conservation of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.