Skip to main content


$28.5 million for Reef Coastal Restoration Projects

More than $28 million spread over 18 projects for reef coastal restoration projects has been announced by the Federal Government to support Great Barrier Reef water quality improvements and better protection for marine life habitats.

Cape York NRM has nearly $2 million for an eastern Cape York coastal wetland restoration project as part of the new funds, which are aimed at rehabilitating and restoring blue carbon ecosystems, such as seagrasses, mangroves, saltmarsh, and wetlands. 

The projects are expected to: 

  • increase resilience of seagrass meadows, which provide shelter and food to the Reef’s diverse animals including fish, turtles, dugongs and birds.
  • provide Traditional Owners and community members with new skills and experience to lead and scale restoration and monitoring projects across the Reef.
  • improve Reef water quality by stabilising shorelines and mitigating streambank erosion to reduce sediment runoff into the Reef catchment 
  • support collaboration with Traditional Owners to accelerate the recovery of ecosystems, including those impacted by extreme weather events due to climate change.

Cape York NRM Project Officer Marie Busschots said it was exciting news. 

“This is exciting for Cape York NRM as it allows us to continue our partnerships with Indigenous ranger groups and other stakeholders to work on the high-priority wetlands and coastal areas that were identified during previous collaborations,” she said.

Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef Senator Nita Green said the money was about building resilience and future-proofing. 

“Improving the health and resilience of Reef coastal habitats and ecosystems will also contribute towards water quality targets,” she said.

“These vital projects will be delivered by trusted, local experts who know exactly where to target investment to get the best results.”

Federal Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek said the reef was one of Australia’s most precious natural assets. 

“That’s why we are investing in programs to restore and protect the Reef for our kids and grandkids,” she said.

“The health of coastal ecosystems like mangroves and seagrass meadows are crucial to the survival of endangered turtle species and the culturally significant dugong. This funding will mean Traditional Owners and environment groups can help look after the Reef by eradicating feral animals, preventing erosion, and restoring critical habitat like wetlands and saltmarshes.”