Kalkie State School students are doing their part in helping to protect ocean life by participating in The Great Reef Census.
The world-first citizen science project is delivering vital insights for the conservation of the iconic ecosystem and aims to engage the global community in the future of the reef through education, storytelling and action.
The census has been designed to trial new ways of capturing large-scale reconnaissance data from across the Great Barrier Reef, helping to support research and management in the face of accelerating human impacts.
Over 12 weeks in late 2020, a makeshift research flotilla made up of tourism and dive boats, superyachts, fishing vessels and even a tug boat were mobilised as part of the first ever Great Reef Census, capturing over 13,000 survey images from across the Great Barrier Reef.
In 2021 citizen scientists are invited to collect images as part of the 2021 in-water surveying phase.
Students were also provided with beautiful images of coral at Lady Elliot Island taken by local photographer, Tracy Olive, to include in the census data.
“It was exciting to see so much coral in one place and to learn so much about coral,” Year 6 Reef Guardian student Claire Ray said.
“Participating in the Great Barrier Reef Census makes us feel like we are helping to protect and conserve the Great Barrier Reef.”
You don’t need to be a scientist or marine biologist to take part – you can be part of the Great Reef Census either in-water on the reef or online from anywhere in the world.
Whether you’re on the reef or on the other side of the world, you can be part of this important conservation initiative.
“The first Great Reef Census demonstrated the capacity to mobilise people and vessels across the reef community to create a billion-dollar research flotilla, capable of collecting valuable data,” Andy Ridley, CEO Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef said.
“It also showed how we can meaningfully utilise citizen scientists to scale-up conservation efforts in the face of accelerating threats.”