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Learning to protect our marine life

Bowen State High School’s project to breed and monitor growth rates and water quality impacts on barramundi and redclaw has gained a boost.

The project was a successful recipient of a $1000 grant to assist with the study.

NQBP Chief Executive Officer Steve Lewis said the annual EcoPorts grant program helps teach local children about sustainability and environmental principles.

“This school project has a very close link to our port operations, with students set to examine how environmental regulations are established to protect marine life.

“This project will demonstrate how industry and the environment can co-exist,” Mr Lewis said.

Marine Studies teacher Steven Moore said the money would enable the purchase of equipment required to extend their current aquaculture facility to enable redclaw studies.

“The idea from this project has come from community concern over the impact of expansion of Abbot Point Coal Terminal on local marine life,” Mr Moore said.

“We are hoping the results can demonstrate that the environmental guidelines followed by the terminal will have no or minimal impact on native marine life,” he said.

The EcoPorts Grant Program provides a grant of $1000 to primary or secondary schools located within NQBP communities for their use in developing an environmental project or to assist with environmental related curriculum activities.

Other school projects which have been successful this year include:
• St Joseph’s Parish School Weipa – Kitchen garden with bush tucker, guidance from local indigenous groups
• St Francis Xavier Primary School – Landscaping with native plants
• St Patrick’s College, Mackay – Reduce amount of one use plastics, using bamboo and paper
• Mackay State High School – Extension of garden beds to balance nutrients offset from aquaponics system
• Mackay Christian College – Research project on waste issues and waste minimisation “Does it Matter”
• Mackay North State High School – Recycling station for new agricultural construction centre for at-risk students
• St Joseph’s Catholic School, Noth Mackay – Naturescape learning, sensory garden using natural materials, compost and vegetables
• Beaconsfield State School – Sensory garden – learn about lifecycles, linked to science
• Glenella State School – Sustainable Perma-culture garden project – cultivation of fruit and vegies