Ocean Rafting is proud to have secured a funding opportunity as part of the Australian Governments $1 Billion Covid-19 Relief and Recovery Fund to support regions, communities and industry sectors severely affected by the coronavirus crisis. The $3.2 million Tourism Industry Activation and Reef Protection Initiative will repurpose vessels and crew from 17 operators to visit and monitor high-value tourism sites to report back to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).
This not only ensures continued site stewardship of our favourite locations but it up-skills staff in reef monitoring and interpretation. Moreover, it provides valuable data to marine park managers as well as controlling unwanted reef predators such as the Crown of Thorns Starfish and Drupella Snails, ensuring our beautiful fringing reefs are ready to welcome back guests as the travel restrictions ease both domestically and internationally.
As part of this initiative, 7 staff members were trained in Eye on the Reef – Reef Health and Impact Surveys to join our previously qualified Environmental Manager James, Operations Manager Kerr and Master Reef Guide Taylor as trained staff members to conduct these high-level surveys over the coming months. Ocean Rafting will also be utilising other staff members and volunteers to conduct Rapid Monitoring surveys overseen by our Master Reef Guides to increase our dataset and promote our educational tourism product Reef Seeker.
This initiative is an exciting opportunity for Ocean Rafting, our staff and our local environment. We look forward to sharing the developments of this project going forward.