Branson’s move to help restore the Great Barrier Reef

Kate Webster

A partnership between Greening Australia and Virgin Australia will drive a powerful new initiative to reduce soil erosion and help restore water quality on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The three-year partnership with Greening Australia, who launched a new project, Reef Aid, works to reduce damage to the Reef as a result of soil erosion and subsequent poor water quality.

Part of the initiative includes a public appeal to raise $10 million over the next three years for the first stage of the estimated $100 million major restoration project. The Australian Government Reef Trust will match private contributions dollar for dollar up to $2 million.

Passionate environmentalist, Sir Richard Branson, joined the Chairman of Greening Australia, Gordon Davis, to launch the partnership and call on all Australians to get behind Reef Aid and help save one of Australia’s most precious icons.

“I have long been passionate about the health of the ocean, having spent many hours in and amongst its waves, particularly in Australia,” Branson said.

“Like me, Virgin Australia is passionate about doing what we can to help save one of the most complex and beautiful natural systems on earth, the Great Barrier Reef.”

“Virgin Australia’s partnership with Greening Australia will make a real difference at halting soil erosion onto the Reef and improving water quality, but we also need your help.”

On 8 June, Virgin Australia will mark World Oceans Day by fundraising at its major ports while pilots will raise awareness of the issue with on-board announcements on flights over the Great Barrier Reef.

To retain its world heritage status and meet the targets set in the Australian Government’s Reef 2050 Plan, the amount of sediment flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef must be reduced by 50 percent by 2025. Reef Aid will make a significant contribution to this target.

As the Official Airline of Greening Australia, Virgin Australia has made a three-year commitment to support awareness and fundraising for Reef Aid such as flights to help scientists, field experts and volunteers working on Reef Aid, international media hosting and education, ongoing coverage on Virgin Australia’s social media channels, in the Virgin Australia in-flight magazine and app Voyeur, on Virgin Australia’s In-Flight Entertainment System and to the six million members of Velocity Frequent Flyer and ‘Hands on’ support from Virgin Australia staff as part of the Coastal Wetland team volunteering group.

To donate or learn more, the public are encouraged to visit www.greeningaustralia.org.au and to use #reefaid on social media to pledge their support.

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