About the Project

The Great Barrier Reef is a site of beauty and ecological diversity. Clean stormwater is required for the growth of its ecosystem, allowing light to penetrate to the corals, seagrasses and other plants, which further support the survival of other marine life. Clean stormwater is also paramount to the health of our local creeks, rivers and beaches.

There are more than 260 drains and waterways in the Cairns Region that flow out to the Great Barrier Reef. This stormwater is not treated, there is nothing preventing pollutant materials such as litter, grease and oil, paints, green waste and garden fertilisers, from entering our waterways. There is no stop gap. Not only does this make our beaches unsafe places to swim, affect our community and our economy but it seriously damages the marine environments, and implicates heavily
on the survival of the Reef.

Why Stencil Drains?

Drain stencils are messages located on drain inlets that remind the community that our neighbourhood is connected to the ocean via the urban stormwater drain system. They are a means of prompting thought, as well as engaging the community in an activity that promotes an improvement to the quality of our waters. Stencilled drains also send a clear message to visitors that the Cairns community cares about the marine environment and encourages tourists to consider the impact of their actions

Raising awareness about the stormwater catchment encourages people to adopt habits, such as:

– Washing cars on the grass instead of the driveway

– Sweeping and collecting leaves and dirt from pathways instead of hosing them down the drain

– Applying lawn chemicals at the right time / dose to reduce the chance of runoff to the stormwater system

– Keeping your streets and gutters free from litter

Could you, your family or your community group help

We need your help! It is here at the local level where you can help us educate and spread the message that there is no water treatment, no stop gap, between our stormwater drains and the Great Barrier Reef. If you, your family or your community group can stencil drains in your street, your suburb or our city, register online or contact us on the details below to get involved and help get the message out!


Register online button






The Cairns Drain Stencil Project has been made possible with the cooperation and support of the Cairns Regional Council, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef Trust, RACQ Get Ready Queensland and seed funding from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Local Marine Advisory Committee. The Cairns Drain Stencil Project Team wishes to thank those who have made this possible.


Print15-10-14 Image - RACQ Get Ready


1 Comment

Cairns Drain Stencil Project: Launch Event | CAFNEC Marine Response Team

May 13, 2015 at 9:33 pm

[…] About the Project […]

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