NQ Dry Tropics staff at Giru Weir on the Haughton River, From left: Project Lead Rachael Payne, Project Officer Thijs Krugers, Waterways, Wetlands and Coasts Trainee Fraser Nicholls.

Funding boost to help protect important coastal ecosystems

North Queensland’s spectacular coastal ecosystems will be better protected thanks to a new three-year project delivered by NQ Dry Tropics.

The $3.8 million From the Land To the Sea: Improving the Health of Coastal Ecosystems initiative will focus on the Burdekin region’s coastal catchments that contribute to the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

The project is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, and delivered through the National Landcare Program Regional Land Partnerships agreement.

Coastal ecosystems, including wetlands and creeks – and the animals and plants that live in and around them – play a key support role for the reef. They provide essential habitat for native species including fish, birds, invertebrates and crustaceans, and capture nutrients and sediment before they reach the ocean.

Giru Weir

NQ Dry Tropics’ Project Lead Rachael Payne said activities would centre around the Black, Haughton and Don Catchments, between Townsville and Bowen.

“We will be working with community partners on a range of measures to improve the health and  extent of native vegetation, and fish and other animal species that rely on healthy habitat corridors connected to the reef, Ms Payne said.

“These will include mitigating barriers to fish migration by constructing three fishways on the Haughton River, including at Val Bird Weir and Giru Weir.

“Other actions will include tackling invasive plants and animals, and raising community awareness about how human activities affect threatened ecosystems and the species they support. 

“This project will complement work already underway around Bowling Green Bay National Park, and other catchments in the lower Burdekin region,” Ms Payne said.

From the Land To the Sea is one of six recently-announced reef region coastal environment protection projects being delivered by natural resource management (NRM) groups – NQ Dry Tropics, Cape York NRM, Terrain NRM, Reef Catchments, Fitzroy Basin Association and Burnett Mary Regional Group. 

Project Officer Thijs Krugers at Val Bird Weir