The Whitsundays to be the Healthy Heart of the Reef


The Whitsunday Climate Change Innovation Hub is delivering a key project, the Whitsunday Healthy Heart Project, under the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s Reef Islands Initiative.

One of the key themes of the initiative is addressing climate change, recognised by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as the number one threat to the Reef.

The Whitsundays Healthy Heart Project will work with the Whitsunday Tourism industry to address climate change and aim for a healthy reef, by reducing the region’s carbon footprint.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said the collaborative four-year project will aim to mitigate climate change in the Whitsunday region, create green marketing opportunities and enhance the tourism industry’s sustainability.

“We have committed to achieving a Sustainable Destination accreditation as part of this project, which will further support the tourism industry’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19,” he said.

“Whitsunday tourism operators will be engaged throughout the project and provided with support to understand and improve their carbon footprint.”

Solutions will be investigated and shared to make tourism business as sustainable as possible and address barriers to climate change adaptation.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation Director Mel Rodgers said we’re already seeing the effects of climate change in many parts of our Reef and the time to act is now.

“We’re proud to be working towards a carbon neutral Reef industry in the Whitsundays as part of our Reef Islands Initiative, which is protecting the habitats of the thousands of species of marine life that call the Reef home,” Ms Rodgers said.

“This is one of more than 100 Reef-saving projects the Foundation is delivering right now.”

The Reef Islands Initiative is a Great Barrier Reef Foundation program, supported by funding from Lendlease, the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, the Queensland Government and the Fitzgerald Family Foundation.

To find out more about the project, please contact the Whitsunday Climate Change Innovation Hub on 1300 972 753 or via email