My name is Imogen and I have just started working at the Mackay Conservation Group as a ‘Reef Campaigner’. I am from London and upon graduating from University in England last year, I have moved to Australia to pursue a career in marine conservation.
I learnt many things during my time at university, but one thing that completely resonated with me was the importance and beauty of the coral reefs, and how they provide such crucial habitats for a variety of marine organisms, as well as providing us with bioprospecting properties and a large economic input via tourism. The reef is valued at $56bn, provides 64 000 jobs and over $6 bn directly to the Australian economy. However, unfortunately the Great Barrier Reef is being destroyed, largely due to climate change and water pollution from excess sediments, nutrients and pesticides entering the waterways.
Reports estimate that $8.2 bn is needed to restore the reefs health and to prevent further water pollution, but not near enough is currently being done! The government is investing $200 million per annum to this issue but we need more.
Therefore, over the next three months, I will be carrying out a project and building a campaign with the main aim of increasing funding from the state and federal governments for this issue. I will also be setting up meetings and attending field trips with scientists, farmers, MPs and tourism operators to find out their opinions on the issue. At the end of this project I will have arranged a large meeting held locally to discuss the issues further and raise awareness of what needs and what is being done. We would love for you all to attend and will be sending out more info in the near future.
If you have any questions about the project feel free to email me. Also, let me know if you would like to help out over the next three months.