The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most spectacular living networks on our planet. Seeing it for yourself will leave you speechless.
And right now, getting outside and experiencing the Earth’s wonders is more important than ever; it’s the connection that helps us realise what it truly means to be alive, and it forces us to comprehend the impact we, as humans, are having on the world around us. Learning and understanding its connection to us is the number one driver for innovative and creative change.
Early in 2020, we spent a week with marine biologist Johnny Gaskell, who leads a team pioneering a reef restoration program in the Whitsunday Region, a mountainous archipelago made up of 74 mostly uninhabited islands inside the Great Barrier Reef.
Alongside him, Australian marine biologist Laura Wells and South African surfer Frank Solomon explored the mind-blowing beauty of the Whitsundays and learned about the environmental challenges this region faces. Johnny is a big advocate for people learning firsthand and encourages everyone to jump in the water; he believes curiosity gets people invested and motivates them to be a part of reef protection. Seeing the restoration of the reef firsthand juxtaposed with the impact that plastics and pollution have on what seems like paradise might just be the catalyst for change.
Take it from Johnny himself on how to reduce your impact on the reef:
‘Reduce your carbon footprint in any way possible: less power usage, less driving, less flying, less unnecessary purchases. Only support companies that do not invest in fossil fuels—including banks and Super Funds. Visit the reef. Part of your tourism dollars goes towards research and protection of the reef, and once you see it for yourself you will be more likely to want to protect it. Educate others to do the same.’