2018 THE MINISTER’S AWARD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

OUR WINNERS

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BANKSIA FOUNDATION

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HONOUR
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2018 THE MINISTER’S AWARD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

 

 

Finalists:
• Great Barrier Beer by The Good Beer Co. in partnership with The Australian Marine Conservation Society, QLD
• Wetlands and Water Quality for the Great Barrier Reef by JaragunPtyLtd, QLD

Winner:
Reef Aid by Greening Australia, QLD

Greening Australia’s Reef Aid program is the most practical and effective action to bolster the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef in the face of climate change.

Every year over 10 million tonnes of sediment from eroding land smother coral and seagrass, degrade water quality, create algal blooms, and inhibit the Great Barrier Reef’s resilience.

Reef Aid began as a small wetland project in 2015 involving Greening Australia, the Australian Government Reef Trust, BirdLife Australia, and Conservation Volunteers Australia. Driven by a bold vision to ensure the long-term health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef, the program has rapidly grown in science, delivery partners and supporters.

Officially launched in May 2016 alongside ocean advocate and Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson, Reef Aid aims to restore 1,000 hectares of priority coastal wetlands and 2,000 hectares of land susceptible to erosion by 2030.

Today, Reef Aid is actively improving water quality on the Great Barrier Reef at scale under a whole-of-the-reef approach. In just two and a half years, the Reef Aid partnership involves 471 individual donors, 17 major Australian and international corporations and foundations including Virgin Australia, Accor Hotels, and the Tiffany &Co. Foundation, 20 research and delivery partners, and 6 landholders. Through its partnerships, Reef Aid reshapes and resurfaces eroded gullies and streambanks and restores vital coastal wetlands to improve the quality of the water that flows out onto the Great Barrier Reef.

In May 2018, results from the first phase of the Reef Aid Innovative Gully Remediation Program show a 97% reduction in sediment at trial sites flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef. Five more treatments are currently being tested and will be completed in 2019 with the most cost-effective gully remediation and wetland restoration techniques applied throughout the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

Reef Aid is a unique public and private partnership program taking practical action on land to address legacy issues of alluvial gullies and degraded wetlands at the source. There is increasing recognition and confidence that Reef Aid’s practical solution can deliver immediate outcomes for water quality and with the breakthrough success of Reef Aid over the past two years, the program is on a trajectory towards achieving the long-term health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

We know saving the Great Barrier Reef is possible.