TEAM EFFORT: Michelle Crossley, Deb Dugan, Annie’s Swim School owner Annie Grunwald with (front) Jackson Crossley, Ella Crossley, Aimee Stumer, Stella Duggan and Adelie Duggan graduated from the Reef Warriors program after collecting rubbish off the Airlie Beach foreshore on Friday afternoon.
TEAM EFFORT: Michelle Crossley, Deb Dugan, Annie’s Swim School owner Annie Grunwald with (front) Jackson Crossley, Ella Crossley, Aimee Stumer, Stella Duggan and Adelie Duggan graduated from the Reef Warriors program after collecting rubbish off the Airlie Beach foreshore on Friday afternoon.

Local kids help protect the reef

A SMALL group of children and their parents helped clean up food wrappers, lost towels, plastic bottles, rubbish and other pieces of marine debris from the Airlie Beach foreshore as part of Annie's Swim School Reef Warriors school holiday program on Friday.

The program aims to teach students basic swim strokes, vital survival skills in the water and offers children a step-by-step induction into snorkelling and diving.

Participants also learn how to read currents, tides and rips, gain knowledge of coral conservation and environmental threats, lifecycles of fish, theory and safety knowledge about rivers, dams and oceans, gain awareness of hypothermia and practise using life jackets and handicap swimming.

Annie's Swim School owner Annie Grunwald said the five day program was designed to teach children how to be safe in the ocean while helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

"The children loved learning about snorkelling and diving and the program takes them through practical knowledge about the use of snorkel equipment and safety buddy snorkelling skills, equalising, safe descent and ascent, clearing masks and an induction to scuba diving," she said.

"I believe that we can all do better and children shouldn't be taught to blame other people for the condition of the reef but focus on how they can actively make a difference."

Parents are welcome to accompany their children at any stage of the program.

Ms Grunwald thanked Eco Barge Cleans Seas, Royal Lifesaving Queensland and Whitsunday Diving Academy for their support.

Annie's Swim School runs out of the Whitsunday Diving Academy in Jubilee Pocket.

For more information on Reef Warrior school holiday programs, contact 0404 677 400.


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