NEW SOCIAL MOVEMENT CALLS GLOBAL CITIZENS TO UNITE FOR GREAT BARRIER REEF.
ACTION – NOT APATHY – NOW NEEDED
•New social movement uses digital technology to mobilise support for the Great Barrier Reef.
•Sign up to citizensgbr.org to become a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef and take simple actions that feed into a global dashboard that tracks the cumulative impact.
•The new movement launches today, midway through a split coral spawning season; a powerful reminder that the Great Barrier Reef is still alive and that action – not apathy – will secure its future.
•To show support, Citizens can claim a colour of the Great Barrier Reef, flooding their own social media feeds with vivid pops of colour.
November 28, 2017, Cairns Queensland …A new social movement launched in Cairns today aims to put vivid pops of colour into millions of social media feeds as a global network of people unite to support the Great Barrier Reef.
Spearheaded by Earth Hour founder, Andy Ridley, Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef uses digital technology to mobilise individuals to take simple actions that will track their impact on the Reef.
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.
Mr Ridley launched the movement today midway between a split coral spawning season, a powerful symbol of ongoing life on the Great Barrier Reef and a reminder that it’s action – not apathy – that will secure the reef’s future.
“We are in the middle of a split spawning, an event where the reef, the animals, the clams, and the coral, spawn and regenerate,” said Mr Ridley.
“We launched Citizens at exactly the same time, essentially trying to recreate and mimic nature and do a social spawning.”
Ridley added that Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef shows 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.
“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, it starts to make a massive difference.
“There are already citizens on the reef working their guts out to try and make sure it’s protected and saved, but we need all of humanity to unite to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
“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.”
Sixty-five kilometres out to sea from Port Douglas, snorkelers on the Great Barrier Reef today agreed with the concept of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.
Ruth Ogier, 44-years old from London who joined the Diver’s 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.”
Meanwhile, 28-year old Chen Chen, from Shenzhen in China snorkelled the reef for her first time and saw “fabulous corals, in all different colours – purple, pink, yellow, blue.”
“I can’t describe my feelings; (it’s) the first time I see such beautiful nature. We must do everything we can do to protect (it) including use less plastic things, straws, and use more recyclable energy.
Nakita Russell, 24-years old from Fiji can’t wait to sign up for Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.
“I think everybody should sign up for it. I don’t think it should be a second thought. I think it should be compulsory. And yes, I will be signing up to it. Right now.”
CEO of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, Mr Ridley said it’s easy to become a Citizen.
“You just go to the site citizensgbr.org, you sign up and then you start to choose the actions you are going to take.”
By signing up to citizengbr.org, individuals and organisations can claim their own colour of the reef and through social media networks encourage friends, families, supporters and clients to do the same.
Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef also supports reef management and conservation projects along the 2,300 kilometres stretch of Queensland’s coastline. These include tackling outbreaks of coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, protecting endangered loggerhead turtle habitat and supporting graziers to decrease sediment runoff into Reef catchments.
Join the movement today by becoming a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef at citizensgbr.org.
– Diver’s Den Great Barrier Reef Day Trip on Aquaquest
– First site: Beer Garden, 65km north east of Port Douglas
– Second site: Stonehenge, 65km north east of Port Douglas.
– Regrowth: Ribbon Reef middle between two preservation zones.
00:00 Aerials of AquaQuest reef vessel traveling 65km north east of Port Douglas
00:10 Aerial of snorkelers at Beer Garden Reef
00:15 Shots of Beer Garden Reef and swimmer
00:18 Anemones and clown fish
00:34 Anemones and clown fish with divers looking on
00:45 Andy Ridley, CEO Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef … “It’s really easy to become a citizen, you just go to the site citizensgbr.org, you sign up and then you start to choose the actions you are going take.
00:54 “As an individual citizen, everything you do will make a difference, so whether or not 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 the many many millions, starts to make a massive difference.
01:10 “There are already citizens on the reef itself working their guts out to try and make sure it’s protected and saved, but we need all of humanity to unite to protect the Great Barrier Reef. So 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.
01:26 “Out there are the moment, we are in the middle of a split spawning, so ahh, this is where the reef, animals, clams, the coral itself spawn so it ahhh regenerates. Some people call it the greatest orgasm on the planet. So we try to do the launch of Citizens at exactly the same time essentially trying to recreate and mimic nature and do a social spawning.
01:46 Coral spawning at Moore Reef November 10, 2017
02:16 Divers and snorkelers entering the Great Barrier Reef at Beer Garden Reef
02:53 Interview with Takuma Sato, 36 years old from Chiba Ken, Japan ……(translation to English from Japanese) “It was beautiful, the coral and fish. Errrr. There was absolutely no rubbish at all. We must try and keep it as it is, just like this.”
03:13 Interview with Chen Chen, 28 years from Shenzhen, China.… “Actually, when I dive into the sea, I can see fabulous corals. Different colours; purple, pink, yellow, blue. All kinds of colours of corals and all kinds of fish.
03:26 “It’s really marvellous, fabulous. I can’t describe my feeling. The first time I see such beautiful nature things.
04:35 “We must do everything we can do to protect them including use less plastic things, straws, and use more recyclable energy, something like that.
04:47 Interview with Chen Chen, (translation to English from Chinese/Mandarin) “When I was diving I saw glorious corals of different colours that I’ve never imagined. Purple. Pink. And all sizes of fish just like we saw in the magazine and the TV. It was amazing. It’s hard to find a word to describe how I felt.
04:05 We should do more to protect them. For example, use less plastic bags and other plastic things including plastic straws and we should use recyclable energy. If we do more to protect the environment, more people can have the chance to see the miracle of the nature.
04:22 Ruth Ogier, 44 years old from London, UK…. “It’s definitely worth protecting. Today was so clear, I could just see many different types of fish really brightly coloured, lots of different corals. It was amazing. Really really good.
04:32 “I think it’s a great idea, in making sure everyone feels globally connected to this space, protecting it for the future.
04:39 Nakita Russell, 24 years old from Fiji … “Today was amazing, to see it from – you can snorkel and you can snorkel, but when you are underneath the water, it’s completely different. You can’t even compare it. And I just saw everything.
04:51 “I think everybody should sign up for it. I don’t think it should be a second thought. I think it should be compulsory. And yes, I will be signing up to it. Right now.
05:00 Shots of Beer Garden Reef 65 km north east of Port Douglas
05:11 Shot of Stonehenge Reef snorkelers and divers, 65km north east of Port Douglas
05:57 Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef promo video with Teresa Palmer
About the Great Barrier Reef:
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s biggest coral reef system and the largest living thing on Earth, stretching 2,300 kilometres from the tip of the Cape York Peninsula to Bundaberg. It is Queensland’s most valuable tourism asset with around two million visitors experiencing the reef each year. As a custodian of the Reef, Queensland’s tourism industry is committed to responsible practices, as well as actively participating in programs to protect Reef health and build resilience. Anyone who visits the Reef with a commercial operator contributes an Environmental Management Charge of $6.50 per day to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which is vital in supporting day-to-day management of the marine park. More information: queensland.com/greatbarrierreef
About Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef:
Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef is a social movement with a difference. A digitally-focused organisation for the 21st century, it is a collaborative global movement driven by technology with one aim: to engage mainstream society on a mass scale and to mobilise a global network of Citizens committed to taking real action for the Reef.
By starting conversations, and connecting local and global issues, Citizens will engage people, innovators and organisations from around the world in the future of the Reef. Liking Citizens on Facebook is not enough. Individuals are asked to take local and global actions with measurable outcomes. Citizens is the ultimate sharing platform designed to showcase the most innovative, inspiring and impactful actions and get involved. Backed by the world’s best reef management agency, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), the movement is also supported by more than 340 tourism operators who bring thousands of people daily to experience the Reef.