8 March 2024

Funding extended to continue keeping Great Barrier Reef clean

| Chisa Hasegawa
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ReefClean project

ReefClean has secured funding to keep the Great Barrier Reef waters cleaner until beyond 2027 in a boost for the area’s environmental management. Photo: Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation’s ReefClean project has been extended until 2027 after successfully securing the competitive Great Barrier Reef Marine Debris Management and Mitigation Grant opportunity.

The ReefClean project delivers services such as community clean-up events, site monitoring, community source reduction plan workshops, and school and community engagement plans, keeping tonnes of marine debris out of reefs annually in the process.

Marine debris has been identified as a significant risk to the Great Barrier Reef’s ecosystem and is considered a key threat to the reef region’s values.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation chief executive officer Heidi Tait said they were looking forward to another three-and-a-half years of cleaning and protecting the reef.

“Tangaroa Blue led the ReefClean program from 2018-2023, removing more than 127 tonnes of marine debris from between the Torres Strait and Bundaberg, and tens of thousands of participants in activities,” she said.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue to build on this work, with our team of ReefClean partners, to reduce the risk of marine debris to the Great Barrier Reef.”

Clean beach post-clean

The ReefClean program has kept more than 127 tonnes of debris out of the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

They will continue to work with key delivery partners, including Wuthani Aboriginal Corporation (WAC).

“We are really excited to continue to work hand in hand with Tangaroa Blue Foundation to reduce marine debris impacting our Country,” WAC land and sea custodian coordinator Clayton Enoch said.

“During last year’s events, the faces of our Elders lit up as soon as they found out that we had pulled so much rubbish from the beaches, and they couldn’t wait to do it again.”

Newly on board this year was behaviour change research enterprise BehaviourWorks Australia.

Project lead Dr Kim Borg said the organisation was “excited and honoured to join the ReefClean partnership”.

“It’s a great opportunity to join forces with an already successful program and amplify its impact through a rigorous and applied behavioural approach to help address the wicked problem that is marine debris in the Great Barrier Reef,” Dr Borg said.

Original Article published by Chisa Hasegawa on Cape York Weekly.

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