Salt pans, mud and mangroves typify one of just five internationally-recognised wetlands in Queensland. Move away from the water and you're greeted by wonderful hoop pine, ghost gum and paperbark forests.
Bowling Green Bay, just south of Townsville between Cape Cleveland and Ayr is a very diverse place.
The 35,500 hectare beauty is also a Ramsar site - a world-wide conservation treaty that recognises important wetlands.
NQ Dry Tropics wants to protect it by stopping weeds and feral animals getting in. To do this, the organisation has received funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program that will pay neighbouring landholders to make improvements to their land practices.
You might feel your property is too far away to help but if you're in the regions that feed into the Bay - your actions may have an impact on this diverse wetland.
Over time, the areas adjacent to Bowling Green Bay have altered; native vegetation has been cleared and weeds and feral animals have moved in. This has affected the water quality and the plants and animals that live in the area.
Funding will be available from NQ Dry Tropics for mechanically removing and/or spraying land and water weeds, establishing native plants, fencing to encourage cattle to clean up weeds and trapping, baiting or shooting feral pigs.
Nationally recognised problem weeds are high on the list of the program's priorities. If you are in a priority area and have Weeds of National Significance on your property like lantana, rubber vine or hymenachne, you will be able to apply for funding to get rid of them.
The project is funded for two years and open to anyone in the regions that feed into Bowling Green National Park.
Why is Bowling Green Bay important?
Bowling Green Bay, south of Townsville, forms one of tropical Australia’s largest and most diverse coastal wetlands. Many rare and threatened species live in or visit the wetlands.
The Bay has many wetland types and is an important home for fish, dugongs, crocodiles, green turtles and migratory birds. Over 20,000 birds use the site, particularly large populations of brolgas and magpie geese.
What is a Ramsar Wetland?
Ramsar is the name of a town in Iran where, in 1971, country representatives agreed to draw up a list of representative, rare or unique wetlands throughout the world.
There are 160 member countries and they're obliged to look after the listed wetlands in their country.
There are almost 2,000 wetlands on the list. Australia has 65 Ramsar sites, five are in Queensland. Bowling Green Bay is in good company - other Ramsar sites include the Coorong in South Australia, Victoria's Gippsland Lakes and Kakadu in the Northern Territory.
If you live on the perimeter of the Bowling Green Bay Wetland we can help you control pests and weeds. See funding for more information.