The wetlands component of Reef Rescue was only funded in the first round of Reef Rescue.
It provided technical support and financial incentives to landholders to improve the health of wetlands draining from intensive agricultural land.
It was delivered through an integrated approach, which includes the development of wetland management plans, the payment of incentives directly to landholders to undertake wetlands-sensitive land management practices, and securing long-term management through maintenance agreements.
The wetlands program focussed on coastal wetlands draining the intensive agricultural areas of the Burdekin-Bowen coastal plain.
What did the grants fund?
Funding was available to rehabilitate wetlands, which improved water quality reaching the Great Barrier Reef. This involved activities that kept a wetland healthy and functional, for instance:
managing aquatic and riparian weeds, and ponded-pastures;
revegetation with native species;
removal of weed chokes in wetlands to restore habitat; and
increasing the habitat values of recycle pits.
The focus of these management practices was on retaining and/or restoring healthy ecological conditions, which, in turn, provided significant water quality improvement.