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Protecting coastal ecosystems on eastern Cape York

Projects will be spread along the full length of eastern Cape York in an endeavour to protect fragile coastal ecosystems—wetlands and floodplains, coastal vegetation, and potential turtle nesting beaches—under the Catchments to Coral program that is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust.

A Catchments to Coral Reference Group was established in May this year that brings together a wide range of expertise from individuals and organisations to support the coordinated and strategic delivery of the Program’s outcomes and objectives.

Dave Preece, Cape York NRM’s Coastal Ecosystems Coordinator, said that the Group will provide expert advice to ensure best practice management and science is being used in program delivery.

“The Reference Group will share information and collaborate where possible on related programs taking place in Cape York and help inform priorities for implementation and investment,” he said.

Membership of the Catchments to Coral Reference Group was by invitation, seeking to engage people with significant expertise in Cape York reef catchment values, and organisations who are delivering related programs in the same geographical area.

“For example, the members have expertise or knowledge in capacity building for Traditional Owners and land managers in terms of governance, or the expertise to deliver land management activities,” Dave said.

The Reference Group consists of representatives from:

• Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

• Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service

• Queensland Department of Environment and Science – Threatened Species (marine turtle conservation program)

• Queensland Department of Environment and Science – Queensland Wetlands Program

• Great Barrier Reef Foundation

• Tangaroa Blue Foundation

• North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance.

Cape York NRM has been engaging with land managers to identify and plan a suite of projects that will protect wetlands and floodplains, coastal vegetation, and potential turtle nesting beaches across eastern Cape York.

Completed project plans have been submitted and endorsed and include:

• Hymenachne control in Rinyirru Wetlands, Kings Plains Lake, and Howick River

• Coordinated Gamba grass management in the Cooktown region

• Rubber vine control in the Laura and Normanby River catchments

• Pig control in Endeavour and Annan River catchments, and eastern Cape York coastal areas

• Beach protection and access management along the Cape Melville coast

• Marine debris clean-ups along eastern Cape York beaches

• Fencing of wetland and riparian areas in the Hann and McIvor River catchments, and on Binthi and Lama Lama Country

• Cross tenure fire management throughout eastern Cape York

Opportunities to get involved in the Catchments to Coral program are still available, and targeted projects will continue to be sought that protect significant priority wetlands, coastal vegetation, and turtle nesting beaches.

Workshops and training programs will also be facilitated as part of the Catchments to Coral program, aimed at increasing skills and knowledge for land managers, and encouraging cross-tenure collaborations for land management projects.

This project is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust


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