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17 November 2009
Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Senator for Queensland John Hogg today congratulated St Joseph’s School in Bundaberg on being awarded the Habitat Heroes Award for their involvement in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Reef Guardian Schools Program.
St Joseph’s School is one of ten Queensland schools that will receive $1000 for future on-ground school activities in recognition of their work in protecting local turtle nesting beaches, wetland works and other activities to protect and improve the health of the local environment and the Great Barrier Reef.
“Through the GBRMPA Reef Guardian Schools Program Queensland schools are working to protect the Great Barrier Reef and improve its outlook and these awards acknowledge the hard work schools have undertaken over the last 12 months,” Mr Garrett said.
“Our Great Barrier Reef is a national treasure and it is fantastic to recognise future generations who are working towards protecting this great Australian icon," he said.
“With the Reef at a crossroads it is has never been more important than now to focus on activities that keep the Reef strong.”
Senator Hogg said the students at St Joseph’s had undertaken a range of projects including wetland restoration and rehabilitation work as well as water conservation projects in the school grounds.
“St Joseph’s is responsible for the planting of some 2000 native trees and shrubs planted along the Bundaberg Creek which will provide important habitat for native animals as well as protecting and improving the health of the creek.
“At the same time their ‘Cut the Glow to Help Turtles Grow’ campaign is important work to protect local turtle nesting populations and contribute to the health and protection of some of our unique turtle species.
“The Reef Guardian Schools Program leads the way in focusing young Australians on what they can do to protect the Reef and I am delighted that St Joseph’s has been recognised in this way.”
Throughout the year Reef Guardian Schools have initiated and delivered a number of innovative activities and programs all focused on protecting the Great Barrier Reef.
“I congratulate all schools involved in the Reef Guardian Program for their outstanding commitment to the Reef,” Mr Garrett said.
“It is a pleasure to be able to recognise students, teachers and the local communities making a difference to the future of the Reef.”
The Reef Guardian Schools Program is an education initiative of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. In its seventh year, this education program sees more than 60 000 students across 194 Queensland schools committed to the protection and conservation of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.