Volunteering in Tropical North Queensland: you can totally help

Volunteering in Tropical North Queensland: you can totally help

Wanna help save the Great Barrier Reef? Or play with sick turtles? These places need you.

There’s no arguing that the Great Barrier Reef is in trouble, slowly bleaching white instead of blowing minds with an array of beautiful colours and shapes. Also, there’s a lot more plastic in the oceanic ecosystem than is healthy for our amphibian mates.

But what can we do? We can either sit here and write articles about how bad everything is… or we can sit here and write articles about practical things other people can do to help. I know which option I’m choosing.

Tangaroa Blue are all about the clean sweep

It might shock you, but 20 years ago nobody bought water in plastic bottles. Which meant there weren’t millions of those bottles ruining the ocean. Tangaroa Blue is dedicated to cleaning up beaches and the water, but it’s about more than picking up other people’s recycling. They’re also building a database of information on where this life-choking garbage comes from, so we can find ways to stop it at the source. You can get involved in a number of ways – check them out here.

Eye on the Reef is a crowdsourced monitoring system

Everyone who visits the Great Barrier Reef – except maybe mining billionaires – agrees it’s a mindblowingly cool natural resource that should be protected. Eye on the Reef helps in this quest by letting everyone, whether they’re tourists, scientists, or scientific tourists, report things they see when scuba-diving or paddling in the beautiful blue waters of the area.

You can download their app and use it to tell the people in charge what you’ve seen. Like what? According to them it could be “a bleaching event, Crown-of-thorns starfish, stranded or sick wildlife and coral damage. Other sightings are often special moments like seeing protected species, charismatic wildlife and awe-inspiring events like mass spawning.”

Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre does what its name says

Remember all that plastic we mentioned? A lot of turtles end up eating bits of it, thinking it’s food, then get sick and die. And since six out of seven of the world’s marine turtle species hang out in Tropical North Queensland, they could use your help.

Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre are doing their best to get the sick’n’injured swimmers back on track, and according to them it’s going well:

“Based on figures since the centre first started over 15  years ago the success rate in rehabilitating sick and injured animals and returning them to the ocean has improved to ~85%, from 20-30%.”

Of course, they rely on volunteers, so…

Beyond TNQ, there are other places you can help out

Check out this page to see what else is going on in Queenslandian Conservation Volunteering Opportunities, like building fences or looking for koala poo. It’s a great way to combine a holiday with work. But, like, good work that makes your heart pump rainbows. You know.


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