21 December 2015
Restoring the catchments and coastal wetlands of the Great Barrier Reef
The iconic Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s most celebrated natural wonder relies on healthy catchments and coastal wetlands
In December 2015 the Reef, its catchments and wetlands received a major boost with the announcement of a $4 million restoration initiative.
Conservation Volunteers Australia and their new partner organization WetlandCare Australia will be working with Greening Australia and Birdlife Australia to deliver a 200 hectare project of on-ground catchment and coastal wetland restoration works, restoring key habitats to improve water quality in the Great Barrier Reef region. The project will be implementing science based methods to protect threatened species habitats and maintain biodiversity.
Coastal wetlands filter the water entering the Reef from rivers and land run off, trapping sediments and pollutants before they enter the Reef system and the Coral Sea. It is estimated that over 80% of the Reef’s coastal wetlands have been lost or degraded, resulting in habitat loss and damage to the Reef.
WetlandCare Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia combined expertise in science based wetland restoration, catchment management, volunteer and community engagement will ensure that together with the project partners, this restoration project will play a key role in repairing coastal wetland habitats, improving the health and resilience of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.
Funding for the project will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Australian government with business philanthropic partners.
WetlandCare Australia has been restoring the internationally important wetlands of the Barratta Creek Catchment and Bowling Green Bay since 2012 through the ‘Delivering Biodiversity Dividends for the Barratta Creek Catchment’ project, funded by the Australia Government’s Clean Energy Future fund. This project has resulted in major revegetation works, constructed wetlands and improved habitats throughout the Barratta Creek catchment, and delivered extensive training in fire management and pest animal control to local communities.
Building on established relationships in the Great Barrier Reef region, the project partnership consortium will work with Reef Trust, land owners, indigenous groups and science and community organisations in alignment with the Great Barrier Reef Strategy 2015.
You can support this major work to restore vital coastal wetlands by donating now through Conservation Volunteers secure online portal. Thank you.
For more information, contact Ian Walker, Director, Conservation Volunteers Australia on 0437 198 706.
PHOTO: Jabirus take flight over the wetlands of Bowling Green Bay, in the Barratta Creek Catchment.
PHOTO: Majestic Wedge Tailed Eagles are essential top-tier predators in the coastal wetlands of the Great Barrier Reef system. Photo by Merv Pyott, WetlandCare Australia.