top of page
Media Hub Page Banner.png


Enjoy the beach and protect the reef

The summer school holidays are almost here, which means we’re all pulling out the togs and

beach umbrellas or taking the covers off boats and jet skis in preparation to enjoy another

summer in the Gladstone region’s beautiful harbour and beaches.

Before you dive headfirst into your summer holiday plans, it’s worth reminding

ourselves of our joint responsibility to look after our harbour and the many species that call

it home so it can be enjoyed and appreciated for many summers to come! If you’re looking

for ways to reduce your impact on our local waterways this holiday season, here’s a few

simple ways to get started.

1. Stock on up reef-safe sunscreen

Did you know that some common sunscreen chemicals can cause damage to coral

reefs? If you’re planning to spend time in the water these holidays, be sure to choose a sunscreen that protects both your skin and the environment around you. Avoid products containing Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Benzophenone-1, and Benzophenone-8 and opt for a miner SPF that

creates a physical UV filter rather than a chemical one. Look for sunscreens that use

non-nano Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient as these are far

safer for the reef.

2. Keep the plastic away

Even for the most litter-conscious, it doesn’t take much for a bit of wind to blow light

plastics into the water whether you’re on a boat or at the beach. A great way to

avoid this is by minimising the number of plastic items you bring in the first place.

Carry reusable water bottles, pack your lunch and snacks in sturdy, reusable

containers rather than clingwrap, use a bucket as a bin on-board instead of a plastic

bag. When boating, be sure to check that everything is securely tied down when

travelling a higher speed to avoid the chances of anything going overboard.

3. Be careful what you touch and take

As tempting as it can be to touch that piece of coral or starfish you see while

snorkelling, doing so can be incredibly harmful to the marine ecosystem. Things like

corals and fish have a layer of mucous covering them which is anti-bacterial to help

kill parasites, fight infection and keep them healthy. Human touch can unfortunately

remove this coating. You also never know what else could be concealed that might

be harmful to you too (like spines or sharp fins).

If you’re choosing fishing as your hobby of choice this summer, please adhere to

Queensland’s local bag limits for each species and be honest when measuring fish to

check for legal size. These rules haven’t been put in place to ruin our fun – simply to

ensure that there’s enough of every species for us all to enjoy for generations to


4. Be mindful of water safety around marine animals

Boats and watercraft can easily disturb, distress or harm marine mammals such as

dugongs, turtles and dolphins, so it’s prudent to be mindful of keeping your distance

when boating. To reduce the risk of disturbing their natural behaviour, consider the following when you spot an animal:

  • Avoid sudden changes in direction

  • Maintain a constant speed and don’t exceed 5 knots

  • Move away if an animal shows any signs of distress or disturbance

  • Not approach a whale, dolphin or dugong from directly in front or behind

  • Take care to not intercept or prohibit its known path

  • Never form a barrier between a marine mammal and its group or a mother and her young

bottom of page