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Sustainability Initiatives

A cultural and scientific pathway to sustainability

Sustainability With GBR Biology

GBR Biology works closely with Reef Magic, under the Experience Co tourism company, and has been fundamental in taking key steps for Reef Magic to be a high standard tourism operator, as identified by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

With a mission to continually improve our sustainability, this has been recognized in our initiatives. As a result of these initiatives, Reef Magic now carries an Advanced Eco Accreditation – the highest level awarded by Ecotourism Australia. We also carry a Climate Action Business Certification, distinguishing Reef Magic as one of Australia’s leading and most innovative ecotourism products.

We’re committed to reducing emissions, practicing reef resilience initiatives and interpreting and education through one of the most comprehensive programmes in the Reef Tourism industry. We’ve outlined a few of our sustainability initiatives and practices below.

Renewable Energy

The Reef Magic Pontoon ‘Remoora’ uses renewable energy to keep it’s batteries full, with 16 solar panels and 3 48V Silent X wind turbines. The total renewable energy capacity is 7.59 kW which is stored on 24 2V batteries.

Emission Reduction

We’re endeavouring to reduce emissions wherever possible. Current efforts to reduce our emissions include using energy saving appliances and low energy light bulbs, tracking our emissions footprint using the Marine Park Authority emissions calculator, maintaining vessels regularly to maintain optimal fuel efficiency and using low emission outboards. We also encourage customers to travel to the reef fleet terminal by public transport.

Waste Reduction

The new pontoon has been designed with long lasting and durable surfaces, to reduce debris and microplastics accumulating in the water from wear and tear. Eco-friendly cleaning products are utilised, and catering is sourced locally with eco-friendly packaging. Guests are encouraged to reduce waste by bringing their own bottled water, and using the recycling bins.

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef is a not for profit organization aiming to protect the reef. Their missions is to build a global community that motivates citizens to take actions to support the reef, such as pledges to reduce emissions and waste, or engage in citizen science projects. You can learn more about Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and their work here.

Reef Resilience Initiatives

Reef resilience is the natural processes that increase coral reef recovery following disturbance events. The most common impacts on coral cover are tropical cyclones, outbreaks of of the coral eating crown of thorns starfish, and mass coral bleaching from global warming. We combat this with several initiatives, including Coral Rubble Stabilisation, Kul-Bul (Spirit of Sea country), Juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS) research, Coral Laval Reseeding and Eye on the Reef Initiatives. You can read more about these initiatives by clicking on their links.

GBR Biology team member guiding snorkel tour, providing stories and interpretation of the reef.
Students learning about Turtle rehabilitation on Fitzroy Island
Students learning about MARRS Reef stars.

Interpretation and Education Programs

The day-to-day operations of GBR Biology result in our team of Marine Biologists being experienced storytellers on the Great Barrier Reef. We focus on engaging through story, making memorable experiences for our guests through on-board presentations and guided snorkeling adventures. Community understanding and stewardship can increase political and community action, which translates to support for the reef’s long-term protection.

We also tailor Reef Education programs which specialize in connecting students to the reef systems. With places-based education through curriculum-linked experiences and research opportunities. Our educational initiatives are able to engage schools in the wider environment of the Great Barrier Reef and encourage students to be active global citizens.