About Us

Who We Are

CAFNEC Marine Response Team is a local community volunteer group dedicated to taking conservation action for our far north marine environment. We are hands on and seek to build a fun and dynamic team of like minded people who are prepared to give their time and help others to take action for our sea life. Our model is to empower people to make positive change a reality. Regardless of your age, skills or background we will seek to find ways that your unique skill set can make the whole more than the sum of its parts

CAFNEC

Our group is facilitated by the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC), a not-for-profit incorporated association which acts as conservation council for the region from Cardwell north to Torres Strait and from the east coast to the Gulf of Carpentaria. The area includes the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics World Heritage Areas.

What We Do

Our fish, dolphins, dugongs, turtles and corals face a daunting range of threats but we can make a positive difference. The Marine Response Team will take proactive action to educate the public and decision makers and prevent threats. We respond to existing threats by awareness raising, direct activities to protect and restore threatened habitat and facilitating community involvement in decision making.

What's on now

Latest Blog

Cairns Plastic Free Business Directory

We’ve started a plastic-free business directory for Cairns and would love your input! Do you own a single-use plastic free business? Can you think of a business that you frequent that should be on the list? Fill out the form below and let us know – we will add it to the list! We can

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Bat Festival

On the 22nd of April, the Bat Festival was held at the Salt House Garden. It was an event organised by the Cairns Regional Council, Australasian Bat Society and CAFNEC. Hundreds of people came along for live music, cocktails, microbat detecting, kids crafts, educational talks, flying fox flyout interpretive talks, a great raffle, BBQ, Zoo To You and

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Cairns ECOfiesta 2017

CAFNEC at EcoFiesta 2017 Check out our Cairns and Far North Environment Centre video from Cairns ECOfiesta 2017. We talked about Plastic Free July FNQ 2017, Boomerang Bags, the Wet Tropics Plan Review and out latest Ecotone amongst other things AND held workshops to make your own beeswax wraps, and screen printing to give recycled

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Cairns Second Screening: A Plastic Ocean

  Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, No Waste, No Worries, Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and The Junk Weavers Inc. are teaming up to bring you a second screening of “A PLASTIC OCEAN” after our sold out session in March! A Plastic Ocean is an award winning film about the impact of

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Blog: Boomerang Bags February Update

Hi Boomerang Bag crew, Thanks so much to everyone who came along to our first sewing bee. For those who weren’t able to make it we look forward to meeting you soon! The numbers are in for the first sewing bee: Item Tally Complete bags 8 ‘Very, nearly, almost’ complete bags 14 Bag pieces with

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Response Guide: Qld Gov Survey on plastic bag ban

  The Queensland Government has committed to banning single-use plastic bags in 2018 – hoorah! They have released a discussion paper and are seeking public input via an online survey into what a ban may look like in practice. The CAFNEC Marine Response Team have put together some points which may help you guide your response.

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Adopt a Drain: Great new initiative in Cairns!

Everyone needs to check out this AMAZING stop motion video put together by Riley Luckett, a Cairns primary school student who has been a part of the Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre‘s enrichment program this year. Riley is asking the residents of Cairns to ‘Adopt a Drain‘ in their street to reduce the urban waste entering

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The Plastic Puzzle: Great blog by primary student!

Check out this great blog, ‘The Plastic Puzzle’ by primary school student, Oliver. Oliver has participated in the Holloway’s Beach Environmental Education Centre’s enrichment program this year and has put together a fantastic blog on single use plastic and its prevalence in our society. We have a lot to learn from the next generation, well

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DIY: Almond Milk

You’ll need: 1 cup almonds 4 cups water Colander Blender Muslin cloth or teatowel for straining Method Soak almonds overnight in water Strain soaked water and rinse almonds Place in blender and add 4 cups of water Blend until smooth and creamy Strain blended mixture through muslin cloth or tea towel Voila! Your almond milk

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Plastic Free Bathroom & Sanitary Products

Here’s a few links to some plastic free companies that you can order from online Toilet paper: Who Gives a Crap sell plastic free toilet paper that is delivered to you door. The paper is 100% recyclable and half of their profits are donated to water aid. Beauty Products: Ethique are a New Zealand based company that

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How to make your own insect repellent

Ingredients: Coconut oil Eucalyptus oil Tea tree oil Citronella oil Instructions: For a 25ml bottle of repellent: fill 90% with coconut oil. Add 5 drops of citronella, 2 drops of eucalypt and 2 drops of tea tree – voila! The coconut oil moisterises the skin, which prevents the other oils drying your skin out. It

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My Plastic-Free July: Amalia’s Story

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Check out this Plastic Free July story from our intern at CAFNEC, Amalia. Amalia is studying at Monash University in Melbourne and originally hails from Java, Indonesia. Hey there! It’s been two weeks since I pledged to refuse the top 4 single-use plastic i.e. plastic bags, straws, coffee cups, and plastic bottles. It’s been pretty

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How to Make Beeswax Reusable Food Wraps

  Materials: Beeswax, grated 100% cotton fabric Baking paper Grater (used only for beeswax) Paintbrush Makeshift clothes line Using an Iron Cut the fabric to desired size using pinking shears to prevent the edges from fraying. Commonly used sizes include 34cmx33cm, 28cmx29cm and 19cmx20cm. You can customize size and shaped to suit the items you

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Plastic Free July: Weekly Catchup 2

Plastic Free July Weekly Catchup 2: Making Beeswax wraps This week Alice will be demonstrating how to make your own wax wrap. Wax wraps are great for storing, preserving and covering food. If you feel inspired by that, a donation will let you have a go at making your own (lots of fun). Alice is also going to show

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Plastic Free Toothpaste Recipe

Ingredients: Bicarb soda Coconut oil Peppermint essential oil Materials: Jar or vessel Spoon Time to make: 5 minutes! Instructions: 1. Mix bicarb soda and coconut oil until you get a nice toothpaste-like consistency (not too dry and flaky, not too liquid). Start with bicarb in your jar and then add coconut oil in spoonfuls until

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Plastic Free Recipes

Here are some scrumptious plastic free recipes: how to make them and where to get the ingredients in Cairns. Thank you to Lucy and Mathilde for putting this together. Lucy and Mathilde are Cafnec Marine Response team volunteers but also run the Purging Plastics: Journey to a Waste Free Life Style blog Pasta Ingredients How to do

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Colouring in: Plastic Free July

Plastic free coluring in to download Click here to download and print this fabulous plastic-free colouring in sheet created by Cosima Stockeld of Owlet Nightjar Prints based in Kuranda.

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Plastic Free July: Weekly Catchup 1

Plastic Free July is here: first weekly catch-up is Thursday 7th July The power of social change rests in coming together. So let’s meet up this Thursday and share our Plastic Free July stories and learn tricks and tips from each other and some special guests who are plastic free veterans. We’ll be meeting every Thursday in July at 5.30pm

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Plastic Free July: ‘Bag it’ Screening wrap up

Thanks to everyone who came out for our ‘Bag it: Is your life too plastic?’ film screening and how to fundraise night on Thursday 30th of June. We had a full house – apologies to those who missed out! Check out the pictures from the night and in case you missed it, check out the trailer

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Plastic Free July: Family Fun Beach Day pictures

We had a great day at Yorkeys Knob on Saturday 25th of June launching Plastic Free July FNQ with our Family Fun Beach Day! Sandcastles, BBQ, drain stencilling, bag painting, colouring in, singing, plastic free living demos and giveaways! Check out some of the pictures and a special video made by PhlipVids above, and coverage in

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Plastic Free July: Best Blogs & Websites

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Check out our favourite plastic-free living blogs! This July, we’re accepting the challenge to refuse single-use plastic. It might be tough to change your consumption behavior, but there are heaps of useful websites and awesome people out there who have been living plastic free in Australia and all over the world! Find interesting tips and get inspired

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It All Adds Up: Family Fun Beach Day

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Join our Family Fun Beach Day!   Date : Saturday, June 25 Time: 02:00 – 05:30 PM Location: Yorkeys Knob Foreshore Park (Northern Sims Esplanade) Details: A family friendly event for all ages that aims to raise awareness about plastic consumption and its effects on our environment. With Plastic Free July just around the corner, we would

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Bag It film screening & how to fundraise for Plastic Free July

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Join us the night before Plastic Free July kicks off for some motivation – courtesy of Bag It! – the film   Date : Thursday, June 30 Time: 06:00 – 09:00 PM Location: Hammock Cafe, 70 Abbott St, Cairns City, QLD 4870 Details: Bring along your pillows, blankets and snacks to settle in for a passion-igniting story

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Congratulations to our raffle winners!

This year’s Marine Response Team Raffle 2015 has been a successful fundraiser for the team, thanks to all involved! Special thanks to the local businesses that donated prizes. Click here to see our generous sponsors!    

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Join us on Facebook

Please like us on facebook for all the latest team and marine conservation news!

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Drain Stencil Project Launch

The Drain Stencil Project was initiated in February 2015 by volunteers of the CAFNEC Marine Response Team. It was officially launched on Friday, 5th of June 2015 at Yorkey’s Knob. Our first drain stencilling event was a beautiful sunny day and it was celebrated by many members from the Cairns region and Yorkeys Knob community. We were fortunate to

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Seventy One Percent – marine conservation themed art exhibition

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A group of James Cook University students is presenting an art exhibition this June on the theme of our positive and negative relationship with the ocean. Titled Seventy One Percent – the percentage of the earth’s surface that is water – the event is a group exhibition comprised of emerging and established artists who share

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Letter to WA Uni regarding the climate consensus centre

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The CAFNEC Marine Response Team decided to send a letter to The University of Western Australia regarding the proposed creation of the Tony Abbott-backed Lomborg ‘consensus centre’ . Here is the text of that letter. 27 April 2015 Chancellery – Dr Michael Chanley The University of Western Australia 35 Stirling Highway CRAWLEY WA 6009 Dear Dr Chanley,

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World Heritage Day event Cairns – message in a bottle

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Join us for a picnic at the Esplanade this Saturday (April 18th) to celebrate World Heritage Day . Let’s make sure Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, gets the message that we want our national treasure “the Reef” protected.   Where: Cairns Esplanade Eastern events lawn, (East of the Lagoon) – map link below. What: Picnic and opportunity to

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Tribute to Paris Chadburn

In Tribute to and in Loving Memory of Paris Chadburn   Paris was one of our youngest and cherished team members. Her contributions to the Marine Response Team will remain here for the years to come. Paris was a young girl who could see the importance of the reef in her future. Standing alongside Bob

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Marine Response Team at Reef Rally 2014

Visit Us @ Rusty’s Markets

From Now until the Election, the Marine Response Team will be found at Rusty’s Market letting people know all about the proposals for Cairns and Queensland. Come and see us and find out more about how to Vote for The Reef!

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Politicians take note: Great Barrier Reef health matters to voters

MEDIA RELEASE 07/01/2015 Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) is today drawing attention to a new report presenting evidence for what many of us know – The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) environmental health matters to locals and tourists, especially in the Far North. This report is well timed in the context of the major

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All About Dredge Spoil

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  Dredging and dredge spoil disposal in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) world heritage area is a serious issue. Frank Nemoson and the reef bunch are having a bit of fun in this video but the real clownfish, sea turtles and sharks of the GBR need your help to protect their homes. The ‘reef bunch’

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Reef Hour @ Salt House presented by the CAFNEC Marine Response team

The Great Barrier Reef and the future of reef tourism. Your reef – your jobs – your future The Marine Response Team has now hosted a two ‘Reef Hour’ events. These events feature short presentations from tourism professionals and environmental experts and a chance for informal discussions with peers in a relaxed atmosphere. Discussion Points

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Community Forum on Cairns Port Dredging Announced

The Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) have today announced the upcoming community forum on Cairns port dredging. When: 24th September 2014, 6:30 pm start Where: Cairns Choral Society hall, 31-33 Greenslopes Street, North Cairns. What: Presentations and panel discussion from tourism and local industry representatives, leading scientists and environmental experts. Presentations, Q&A, light

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Everyday Change

Everyday Change Here in Queensland’s far North we enjoy one of the most diverse and beautiful marine environments in the world. Our ocean, reefs, estuaries and marine life need our help to survive and prosper. We can all help to ensure the health of our marine ecosystems with everyday good habits. Taking Care of the

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What We Do

Raise Community Awareness  Save The Reef Rally– Protect Our Inlet On April 6th 2014 the Cairns and Far North Community came together to express their concern with proposals to dredge to expand Cairns Port, and other dredging / port expansions along the Queensland coast. This highly successful event was attended by a broad range of

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Dredging Spoils the Origin

  Dredging and dredge spoil disposal in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) world heritage area is a serious issue. Frank Nemoson and the reef bunch are having a bit of fun in this video but the real clownfish, sea turtles and sharks of the GBR need your help to protect their homes. The ‘reef bunch’

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Shark Conservation

Why do sharks matter in the Great Barrier Reef? Healthy coral reefs need sharks. In a coral reef ecosystem sharks are a top-level predator, sometimes called the apex predator. They are an important part of a reef’s ecosystem helping to maintain balance. A vulnerability assessment of sharks and rays on the Great Barrier Reef has determined

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Petition

Petition: Save Our Reef – Protect Our Inlet Ports North, is proposing to undertake a major dredging operation in Trinity Inlet, however there are serious environmental risks and major community concerns with the proposal. Read More or Sign Here

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Videos

Dredging spoils the Origin – the reef bunch What Do You Know?  

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Have some time to spare and want to make a difference