Wetlands assessed as baseline
HALF of the state’s wetlands selected as part of a major Queensland-first research project to protect the Great Barrier Reef have been assessed including 10 from the Wide Bay Burnett.
Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation principal environmental scientist Maria Vandergragt said she was grateful for the help of landholders from across the region.
“Landholders from the Normanby catchment to the Burnett-Mary and inland areas of the Fitzroy, Burdekin and Burnett catchments are supporting the study,” Ms Vandergragt said.
“Wetland monitoring and assessment programs are a critical tool in managing and protecting wetland resources.”
The baseline report will be released in September.
“This will be the first time we have been able to report on wetland condition at such a scale in the reef catchments and Queensland as a whole,” Ms Vandergragt said.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said 50 of the 100 reef catchment wetlands had been assessed and results played a vital role.
“These wetlands are a representative sample of the natural freshwater wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchments,” Ms Enoch said.
“The assessments are vital in helping us understand the pressures on natural freshwater wetlands within the catchments and by association the health of the Great Barrier Reef.”
The Burnett Mary region has 1430 floodplain wetlands and 801 non-floodplain wetlands.
“Wetlands are vital for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef as they reduce the impact of sediment run-off from our river and creek systems,” Ms Enoch said.
Wetlands were also valuable because they recharged ground water and provided a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.