AECOM announces $1m partnership to support Great Barrier Reef resilience 

AECOM infrastructure, transport and sustainability specialists to help find a road to resilient reefs 

AECOM, has announced a three-year partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The partnership involves an in-kind commitment of up to $1 million under which AECOM’s industry leaders in road design and delivery, sustainability and resilience, and water resources will partner with the Foundation to look at green infrastructure, unsealed roads, carbon management, reef restoration and resilience.  

Roads to Reef Initiative  

Roads to Reef is the primary initiative under the new partnership and will develop innovative methods to plan, design, construct and maintain roads within the Great Barrier Reef catchment to minimise water quality impacts on the Reef. 

The Roads to Reef initiative will identify where improved infrastructure design or maintenance processes would benefit water quality and deliver a suite of cost-effective, practical measures to improve the management of water quality impacts from sealed and unsealed roads.  

Unsealed roads and the design of roadside drainage systems contribute to poor water quality in the Great Barrier Reef through fine sediment runoff and gully erosion. The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, AECOM and the Local Government Association of Queensland are already collaborating to improve design and construction guidelines and maintenance protocols for unsealed roads.  

Resilient Reefs Initiative 

The partnership builds upon a successful collaboration through the Resilient Reefs Initiative, where AECOM is currently engaged as the Foundation’s delivery partner to help build reef resilience across five UNESCO World Heritage-listed coral reefs in Australia, Belize, New Caledonia, and Palau. At these coral reef sites, AECOM is working with the local communities, reef managers and resilience experts to develop a roadmap to reef resilience. This initiative will deliver the first fully integrated and transferable model for building the resilience of both coral reefs and the communities that depend on them, from planning through to implementation. 

“We are committed to our Sustainable Legacies strategy and embedding sustainable development and resilience across our work. We are incredibly proud to expand our partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and are excited to bring together our leaders in engineering and sustainability to deliver urgent, innovative solutions that will better protect our reefs for generations to come.” said Richard Barrett, AECOM Chief Executive – Australia New Zealand. 

“Our partnership with AECOM delivers an incredible opportunity to draw on AECOM’s world-renowned technical expertise and experience to help pave a brighter future for the Great Barrier Reef and coral reefs globally,” said Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden. 

“At a local level, one of the most important things we can do for the health of our coral reefs and the thousands of species of marine life that depend on them is to improve the quality of the water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef. 

“We’re privileged to be working with the AECOM ‘brains trust’ to support the ambition for more Reef-friendly roads through the Roads to Reef Initiative, as well as continuing our successful collaboration on the Foundation’s international Resilient Reefs program. 

Introducing the AECOM and Great Barrier Reef Foundation partnership from AECOM Australia New Zealand on Vimeo.