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Reef Water Quality Report Card 2017 and 2018

The report collates information from Reef catchments where changes in land use, management practices or projects were recorded. This data is used to measure progress towards the targets in the Reef 2050 WQIP.

Cape York’s Reef regions cover seven catchments—43,000 square kilometres of land— which discharges 16,000 gigalitres of water a year into the Great Barrier Reef.

According to the models for Cape York, the Normanby catchment met the Reef 2050 WQIP target to maintain the current loads of anthropogenic end of catchment fine sediment and particulate nitrogen.

The Endeavour catchment did not reach the targets and was graded C (in moderate condition). Limited data was available on Cape York’s remaining catchments.

The 2017-18 Cape York story as told by the report card:


  • Good (81%) progress towards the 90% target for mean ground cover for late dry season
  • Good progress towards the riparian extent target of no loss (<0.1% lost)
  • Very good progress towards the wetland extent target of no loss (<0.1% lost)
  • Moderate condition (C) for the inshore marine environment:
  • Good ‘B’ - Water quality
  • Poor ‘D’ - Inshore seagrasses
  • No data - Corals


  • 459,235 ha of grazing land is managed using best management practice systems relating to pasture erosion
  • 42,159 km of stream banks were managed using best management practice systems relating to streambank erosion
  • 587,896 ha were managed using best management practice systems relating to gully erosion
  • 59,256 ha of improved pasture management from destocking cattle and controlling feral animals on the Queensland Government-owned Springvale Station in the Normanby catchment
  • 44,235 ha of improved pasture and gully management as part of the Australian Government’s Reef Trust gully erosion project on Kings Plains station, delivered by South Endeavour Trust

The Report Card is available online at

We would like to thank all participating landholders, managers and properties in the Reef catchments who have been and continue to be involved in Cape York NRM Reef projects: Reef Trust III, Reef Trust IV and Paddock to Reef.

Through this work we have been able to continue building the knowledge and skills of Cape York landholders enabling progress toward best management practices.

Cape York NRM strives to continue the work with landholders to build the resilience of land and sea environments for people and communities to enjoy into the future.

Report card results are collated through the Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modeling and Reporting Program which is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.

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