Gidarjil Leads Coral Monitoring Project

By Luke Smart

Gidarjil Leads Coral Monitoring Project

The Gidarjil Sea Rangers have recently received $95,000 in state government funding to lead a coral monitoring project on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.

Gidarjil Development Corporation is an indigenous owned enterprise run by a Board of eight Directors made up of representatives from the Gurang and the Gooreng Gooreng peoples.

The initial project, Belbendimin Wulgun Djau (Caring for Sea Country), was originally funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to engage Indigenous sea rangers to monitor inshore corals.

The Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program is building on this work by funding Gidarjil sea rangers to undertake coral monitoring at additional sites in the region along with marine water quality monitoring and sampling.

The data generated through the new monitoring of coral and water quality in the southern Great Barrier Reef by Traditional Owners project will inform the Paddock to Reef Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program.

Saranne Giudice, manager of the project said,

“This project is very important to Traditional Owners. The Port Curtis Coral Coast (PCCC) traditional sea country extends over 26,600 km2 and Traditional Owners from the saltwater groups in the PCCC region have a deep and ancient connection to sea country and their identity is strongly tied to it.

It is vital that Traditional Owners have greater involvement in the management of their land and sea country at both a decision-making level and on-ground to care for country and culture.”