Our diverse Great Barrier Reef is home to six of the world’s seven marine turtle species and one of the world’s most important dugong populations, as well as 600 types of coral, more than 1,600 species of fish, and more than 3,000 species of molluscs (shells). The Great Barrier Reef supports the culture and livelihoods of 70 Traditional Owner groups who have been its custodians for over 60,000 years, yet they are largely excluded from its management. The Reef provides employment for some 70,000 people. However, the future of the Reef and the life it supports is at risk.
After climate change, poor water quality is the greatest local threat to the future of our Great Barrier Reef. Every year, millions of tonnes of fine sediment flow from eroding land onto the reef, choking fish and coral, creating algal blooms, feeding Crown-of-Thorns Starfish and reducing its ability to recover from the impacts of climate change. Exacerbating the problem is the loss of over 50% of our coastal wetlands which act like giant kidneys helping to filter the water before it enters the reef.
We are the only organisation addressing climate change and water quality in Australia – with a bold goal to reforest 10 million hectares across Australia, to sequester 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – drawing down 20% of Australia’s total current carbon Emissions.
To help stop sediment at its source and improve water quality, we are working with local landholders, communities and Traditional Owner groups across the Great Barrier Reef Catchment to rebuild eroding land and restore vital coastal wetlands to prevent over 400,000 tonnes of sediment polluting the reef each year.
We are proud to be the winner of the Minister Award for the Environment 2018 for our Reef Aid program.
This prestigious award is part of the Banksia Sustainability Awards, which recognise outstanding sustainability initiatives across Australia. Read more about our success here.
Lynise is a highly skilled and passionate ecologist with a PhD from La Trobe University in Melbourne and over 15 years’ experience working within professional environmental consulting firms in the educational and government sectors. She leads the strategic planning, science and monitoring of our Reef Aid program.