Lonely Planet Writer

Save the world by becoming a citizen of the Great Barrier Reef

An exciting new social movement launched in Australia this week which hopes to change our understanding as global citizens of how our everyday actions have an impact on the Great Barrier Reef. The plan is to see global network unite through social media to support the Great Barrier Reef.

Beer Garden Reef 65km from Port Douglas. Image by Divers Den

Spearheaded by Earth Hour founder, Andy Ridley, Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef will use digital technology to mobilise individuals to take simple actions that will track their impact from anywhere in the world on the Great Barrier Reef – a litmus test for global warming and ocean pollution. The actions, which range from saying no to straws to donating funds to the Crown-of-thorns starfish eradication program, collectively feed into a global dashboard that tracks the mass impact of each person’s choices.

Crew of Diver’s Den at Beer Garden Reef. Image by Diver’s Den

Ridley explained that Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef demonstrates that an action on one side of the planet can make a difference for the whole planet. “As an individual citizen, everything you do will make a difference,” Mr Ridley said.

We are the generation that has the power to save the Great Barrier Reef. Now is the time to act. Whether it’s making a decision about never using one-use water bottles or take-away cups; even these small decisions when you scale them up to many, many millions, start to make a massive difference. Whether you are in Rio, Amsterdam or Beijing, we need your help. We need you to become a Citizen and unite for the Great Barrier Reef.” 

White tipped shark at Beer Garden Reef. Image by Diver’s Den

Sixty-five kilometres out to sea from Port Douglas, snorkellers on the Great Barrier Reef yesterday approved of the concept of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. Ruth Ogier, 44 years-old from London who joined the Divers Den trip said the Reef is definitely worth protecting. “Today was so clear, I could see so many different types of fish – really brightly coloured – and lots of different corals. It was amazing. I think it’s a great idea, making sure everyone feels globally connected to this space, and protecting it for the future.” 

In early 2018, the platform will open to allow Citizens and organisation to initiate and add their own tangible actions all around the world. Join the movement today by becoming a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef here.