The Australian Government has today announced $6 million in funding for projects to support Australians to get involved in managing, protecting and understanding our world-leading network of Australian Marine Parks.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the Government is supporting marine park users and industries to deliver projects that will help build a greater understanding of Australian Marine Parks and connect more people to our incredible marine environment.
“The Our Marine Parks Grants Program engages park users and marine industries in practical activities that support and improve park management and the protection of marine habitats,” Minister Ley said.
“These projects will help build a greater understanding and appreciation of Australian Marine Parks and connect more people to our incredible marine environment.”
More than 15 organisations from across the country, including tourism operators, regional councils, Indigenous corporations, private businesses and universities, have received grants
to support projects including:
• programs to enable Traditional Owners in the far North, West and South West of Australia to have greater involvement in managing sea country
• tourism and educational opportunities and experiences to raise awareness of Australian Marine Parks and support marine park visitation. These include installations at Western Australia’s Busselton Jetty, a multimedia tourism campaign for Norfolk Marine Park, digital story telling in regional South Australia, and mooring upgrades to support tourism operators in the Coral Sea Marine Park
• marine science and research, such as seafloor mapping and marine life and habitat surveys to improve our understanding of important species and habitats within our marine parks.
Australia is a world leader in marine park management. The 58 Australian Marine Parks around our coastline cover around 2.8 million square kilometres. Together with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve, these marine parks cover over one third of Australia’s marine environment.
Member for Forrest Nola Marino congratulated the Busselton Jetty and the Undalup Association for securing funding in the South West.
“Busselton Jetty is set to house the world’s largest underwater windows in the marine environment. Scheduled for completion in March 2022, the Australian Underwater Discovery Centre project will include an extensive indoor exhibition component,” Mrs Marino said.
“This project will form part of this larger venture and see the development of a Marine Parks Discovery Zone.
“The zone will use interactive programs, themed based exhibits and talks, interactive models, projection, audio, art and aboriginal interpretation to improve knowledge and understanding of Australian Marine Parks.
“Undalup’s vision is to share the culture, traditions, knowledge and history of the Wadandi people with the broader South West communities.
“The project team, comprised of Wadandi Elders and community partners, will collaborate to develop a Wadandi Sea County Cultural Plan, providing an opportunity for the Wadandi community to share a holistic view of their cultural seascape and offer a new perspective to locals and visitors alike.
“The Plan will build on existing maps of cultural values and knowledge systems to improve understanding of Wadandi culture, and social and spiritual connections to sea country.”
The funding announced today is in addition to the $5 million delivered through round one of the Our Marine Park Grants Program which supported projects that achieve long-term sustainable fishing and conservation outcomes.
Australian Marine Parks protect our offshore marine environment and are managed on behalf of the Australian Government by Parks Australia.
For more information about the Our Marine Parks Grants Program, visit https://parksaustralia.gov.au /our-marine-parks-grants/