Coast to Coral: Using the Reef for Climate Change Engagement

Join Reef Check Australia and friends on the first Tuesday night of each month in your lounge room/office/comfy chair, for an evening of discovery, inspiration and appreciation of our local marine, coastal and catchment environments.

Yolanda Waters is an environmental and marine social scientist currently completing her PhD with The University of Queensland. Her research explores pathways to greater public engagement with climate change and whether we can leverage iconic places like the Great Barrier Reef to inspire action. She is particularly interested in the effects of social and educational experiences above and below the water and exploring the diverse connections between people and the reef. Yolanda is an active member of the Social Science Community for the Great Barrier Reef , the Marine Social Science Network Australia (SEQ Hub), and the current coordinator for the community-led initiative Divers for Climate.

Nature-based tourism provides a unique opportunity to engage visitors on environmental issues. Yet, there remains an aversion to incorporating potentially triggering or politically divisive information, such as information about climate change. This is largely due to concerns that rather than motivate people to act, such information might “ruin” people’s days. In this talk, I present findings from a recent experiment on the Great Barrier Reef where we found that information about climate change does not negatively influence visitor experiences. In fact, visitors that were exposed to climate change information were more likely to report the reef was in better health than expected and identify climate change as a major threat to the reef. We also found that people crave more information about tangible actions and solutions, providing a unique window of opportunity for tourism operators, communicators and educators across the reef sector.

Virtual doors (zoom) opens at 6.25pm for a 6:30 pm start.

Stay after the event for networking and nibbles (BYO obviously!) - get your burning questions answered and continue your thoughts, ideas and sea-minded discussions with your local community, all from the comfort of your couch!

Bring a mate and share in the discovery!

At Reef Check Australia we’re all about inspiring our mates and we love to read your thoughts! So, share your favourite parts about the night and tag us! Reef Check Australia #coasttocoral

This initiative is hosted by Reef Check Australia, and proudly supported by oh so many groups including the City of Gold Coast, Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd, Sunshine Coast Council's Environment Levy partnerships grant, The Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Townsville City Council.

Future talks take place on the first Tuesday night of each month, with a new, interesting and engaging speaker.

For more information contact

April 04, 2023 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Will you come?