NSW Jungurra (Cook Island) Project
- YEAR: 2022
- STATE: New South Wales
- FOCUS AREAS: Environmental Education/SDG 14 : Life below water/SDG 4: Quality education
This project is designed to empower local Aboriginal Youth to participate in achieving outcomes of the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy. The information gathered will provide a valuable baseline to better understand measures that should be in place to further protect and manage Jungurra’s waters, habitat, and wildlife.
This project is funded through generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.
The Jungarra (Cook Island) supports a large population of threatened migratory birds, loggerhead turtles, manta rays, fish, sharks, and marine invertebrates. However, there is still a lack of information about marine habitats and species that live in and around the waters of this island.
The Jungarra project aims to create a valuable baseline to better understand measures that should be in place to further protect the marine reserve for its environmental significance.
Several Indigenous students of marine science will be participating in the program by developing on-ground conservation work (reef surveys and water quality testing) to create vital baseline data for scientific research.
Most of the youth participating in this project are PADI dive certificated. The Booningyah Eco Rangers pilot program, supported by FNPW, created the community’s desire to engage in local marine conservation and developed a deeper connection to the country.
This year, renowned experts in the marine conservation field such as Dr. Col Limpus (marine turtle expert and conservationist), Dr. Duane March (Sea Turtle Foundation), and Associate Professor David Booth (zoologist) joined the project to empower the local community in the preservation of Jungurra.
The activities include but are not limited to turtle tagging and monitoring, water quality testing, and regular responsible dives to collect marine debris. Following on from this, ongoing monitoring and research will help to create action plans to further preserve and protect habitat and threatened species of the Jungarra aquatic reserve.