Strong action on climate change, avoidance of single-use plastics and partnerships for healthy rivers and creeks are among the raft of actions in the Reef Guardian Action Plan 2020-2024, endorsed at today’s Council meeting.
Cairns Regional Council has developed the new plan as part of the Reef Guardian Council Program, a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) initiative that has 19 member council’s from Cooktown to Bundaberg.
The Plan and a new Memorandum of Understanding with the GBRMPA, reaffirms Council’s commitment to reef protection by charting a course of action over the next four years that responds to the key threats to the reef, which according to GBRMPA are:
- Climate change and the flow on impacts of ocean heatwaves, ocean acidification, storms and cyclones and oceans currents.
- Poor water quality from land-based run-off
- Coastal development that affects habitats
- Marine debris (plastic pollution)
Through the plan, Council is ensuring its reef protection initiatives are aligned with other councils in the reef catchment to deliver the best possible outcomes for reef ecosystems as well as the social and economic sustainability of the region.