'Citizen scientists' unite to protect the reef in the face of threats

EYES GLUED: An Eye on the Reef forum will be held Thursday.
EYES GLUED: An Eye on the Reef forum will be held Thursday. Contributed

WHITSUNDAY guardians of the Great Barrier Reef will come together today, as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority hosts an Eye on the Reef workshop at the crew training room, Abell Point Marina, from 5.30pm.

The Eye on the Reef program is all about promoting "citizen science” whereby local operators practise their role as the eyes and ears of the reef by undergoing daily monitoring of factors such as marine animals, coral health and incidents.

Participants then submit their findings for the authority to consider.

GBRMPA spokesperson Nathan Cook said with coral bleaching returning in the northern part of the reef between Townsville and Cairns it was important to offer a refreshment on what to look out for.

"We require information across the industry like tourism operators and anyone with up to date information from a lot of remote locations so we can extend our reach to cover reef-wide extending from Cape York to Capricorn,” he said.

"The evening presentation will focus on the current health of the reef and the things to look out for considering it's summer and if we are experiencing a bleaching event this is when it happens.”

There will be demonstrations given of the online training system and Eye on the Reef database and reporting system including data entry and operations Nature Diary graphs.

The Eye on the Reef workshops were also held in Port Douglas on Monday and Cairns on Tuesday.

Mr Cook said while different parts of the reef faced different issues, there was a lot of common ground covered across the workshops.

"Around 80 to 90% of the content would be very similar because we want to encourage people to be involved in Eye on the Reef and to monitor the organisms that live there,” he said.

"Crown of Thorns starfish is more of an issue north of Townsville rather than what you get in the Whitsundays, but generally everything will be pretty consistent.”

While the event is tailored to attract tourism operators and staff, anyone passionate about taking a stand on the health of the reef is welcome to attend.

"These workshops are targeted to tourism staff but open to everybody.

"We write to and invite tourism industry members but we are open to public.

"If anyone has got any friends or colleagues please bring them along,” Mr Cook said.

Whether new crew seek to learn skills or experienced hands require a refresher course, everyone is welcome to benefit from the event.

Pizza will be offered on the night.

For any enquiries call 47500863.

Topics:  abell point marina eye on the reef gbrmpa whitsunday

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Get running without working up a sweat

GET INVOLVED: Volunteers staff a water station during last year's Running Festival.

Airlie Beach Festival on hunt for volunteers.

Taekwondo students gain new belts

JUNIOR BELTS: (Back, from left) Feywer White, Emma Du Preez, Ethan Robinson, Marivic Gaskin, Caleb Robinson, Riley Petterson, Ella Cram, Brittney Cram with (front) Madelyn Bourke, Gregory Willoughby, Sam Fogg, TJ Petterson and Izak Willoughby at taekwondo gradings.

Whitsunday students get new belts.

Originals is back with a bang

SUNDAY SESH: Local act Sam McCann will play on the bill at the next Original Sundays at Magnums Hotel.

Sunday sesh returns in sweet style.

Local Partners

Five die in horror 14 hours on Queensland roads

A FEMALE motorcyclist is the fifth death after multiple crashes throughout the day on Queensland roads.

Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Country music stars coming to Ipswich

Ipswich will get it's country on when The Country Superstars Tribute Show hits town on Friday, June 30 at Brothers Leagues Club.

A UNIQUE tribute show will bring a bit of country into the city.

Shoes make difference to kids in Zambia

MANY SHOES: Toowoomba Grammar School's Adrian Irwin and Fairholme College's Libby Stumer with shoes collected for children in Zambia.

Students are making a difference, creating a new project

What's on the small screen this week

HAMISH and Andy hear another funny story, Netflix premieres a movie about a girl and her super-pig, and a millionaire finds out what it's like to be homeless.

Digging down to find Clare

Australian actress and singer Clare Bowen, who got her big break on the US TV series Nashville, is touring Australia with her solo album.

After five years on Nashville it’s time to tell her own stories.

TV REVIEW: Offspring season 7 is... fine

Alexander England and Asher Keddie in a scene from season seven of Offspring.

New Offspring won’t be remembered as the best season.

What's on at the cinemas over the school holidays

Tom Holland in a scene from the movie Spider-man: Homecoming.

Escape from reality over the holidays with a trip to the movies.

Rapper accidentally drops Banksy's real name in interview

Banksy’s ‘The girl with a balloon.’

Rapper Goldie may have just outed Banksy's real identity

Mariah Carey slammed for on-set antics

Mariah Carey’s cameo in the movie The House was reportedly scrapped.

Actor spills the beans on Mariah’s “borderline abusive” behaviour.

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson dead after long illness

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson has died.

Celebrity chef died after battle with an alcohol-related illness

Gateway to $3 billion, 4800 home new Coast city opens

The start of Peter Crosby Way at Sippy Downs, the northern access into the Harmony master-planned community at Palmview.

Palmview's $3b master-planned community of Harmony

Millionaire Nathan Birch to offload $55M in property

Nathan Birch wants to focus more on developing properties.

Sydney property investor has announced he is selling up

Fame factor boosts property prices in Byron

The stunning Clarke's Beach in Byron Bay.

House prices surge by an incredible 39.5% in star-studded area

Grass is greener for Warwick real estate

Warwick's rural charm and affordable property prices are enticing buyers from Brisbane.

Quality houses for half the price of Brisbane attracting interest

Builders relish Coast's growing construction rates

The Coast's average house price has risen from by more than $10,000 in the past three years to $507,100.

House numbers and values are rising on the Coast

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!