While the rest of our office was acclimatising to the oncoming winter this past May, Account Director Tom escaped Melbourne for sunny North Queensland. Luckily for his hard-working team back home (not to mention Tom’s delicate skin), this trip wasn’t just about lazing on sandy beaches, but rather helping Greening Australia announce a breakthrough in its water quality project that’s helping to save the Great Barrier Reef.
Next to climate change, poor water quality is the biggest threat to the future of the Great Barrier Reef as it reduces the ability for coral to recover – but unlike climate change this is an issue we’re able to address in the short-term. Greening Australia has been working with local landholders, corporate partners and the Australian Government to help meet the goals set out in the Reef 2050 plan.
As part of the Gully Remediation program held at Strathalbyn Station just south of Townsville, where gullies had previously exported an average of 956 tonnes of sediment per hectare per year since 1945. This May, the Greening Australia team of experts revealed that the Reef Aid program had seen a 97 per cent decrease in sediment concentration at the site, with potential for these results to be replicated in other areas.
Members of the media who joined Tom on his Townsville trip were treated to a presentation of the scientific findings, given access to Greening Australia experts and the site’s landowner, as well as a helicopter ride to provide an aerial perspective of the work being done and its effects further downstream.
Securing coverage across the TV, radio, print and online media outlets, including the Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, SBS Radio, ABC Radio, Channel 7 and Channel 9, the 71 pieces of media coverage had a combined reach of over 17 million people. In addition, we managed to confirm a global feature story with CNN that is set to air in late June (watch this space!).
Greening Australia’s impressive results speak for themselves, but they still require support to be able to scale up the project and meet the Reef 2050 goals, including a 50% reduction in sediment load by 2030. To support this fantastic initiative, you can give a tax deductible donation here: https://www.greeningaustralia.org.au/donate-reef-aid/