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Significant partnerships help restore the Houtman Abrolhos islands

01 November 2015

It’s nine years since the Batavia Coast Maritime Institute (BCMI) ‐ a campus of Durack Institute of Technology ‐ threw its doors open for education and research.

And one of the greatest success stories in that time is the Houtman Abrolhos Islands Restoration Project and the partnerships that have increased Natural Resource Management (NRM) knowledge.

The Houtman Abrolhos Islands Restoration project brings together a range of people to work on restoring key locations at the Houtman Abrolhos islands, and in doing so helps to protect one of the largest seabird breeding areas in the southern hemisphere.

The restoration project started in 2013 in partnership with the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) funded by the Australian Government. The Department of Fisheries and the Department of Parks and Wildlife also contribute to the restoration, along with the WA Museum – Geraldton.

Abrolhos Islands NACC Durack Project     Abrolhos Islands NACC Durack Project 2     Abrolhos Islands NACC Durack Project 3 

The industry collaboration allows BCMI students to gain qualifications in Conservation and Land Management in a hands‐on, real‐world environment while undertaking a significant environmental restoration.

Community volunteers and students on field trips all contribute to the restoration through planting, weed management, erosion control and rubbish removal.

Abrolhos Islands NACC Durack Project 4     Abrolhos Islands NACC Durack Project 5     Abrolhos Islands NACC Durack Project 6 

BCMI Acting Training Director, Juan Gutierrez, said community involvement raises awareness about Durack activities and encourages additional enrolments in environmental studies.

“It exposes Durack’s access to extensive industry training,” he said.

“Students enrolled at Durack train on campus and have the opportunity to study in the field on the Houtman Abrolhos islands – and on Durack’s state‐of‐the‐art 20‐metre teaching and research vessel, MasterClass.

“The successful delivery of this project has highlighted future research and NRM project opportunities that can be undertaken using this partnership approach,” said Mr Gutierrez.

There are many success stories that have come from the world‐class BCMI, and this is just one of them. More fantastic stories of innovation, diversity, and collaborative partnerships are available in the research section of our website.

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