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13 Jul 2020



Cape York Community Action Plan

Project summary

Cape York Peninsula is one of five Queensland regions to develop a Reef Community Action Plan for the community to take part in meaningful local action to benefit the Reef and local environment.

Across 2020 and 2021, Cape York NRM and South Cape York Catchments ran seven workshops in Hope Vale, Wujal Wujal and Cooktown for Traditional Owners, youth and community members to contribute their ideas, aspirations and priorities for Reef protection.

These ideas resulted in the development of the South-east Cape York Reef Community Action Plan, which includes 13 priority strategies to benefit local catchments, rivers, beaches, important species and the Great Barrier Reef.


  • Background

    Cape York Peninsula is an important and iconic place. Cape York’s eastern catchments flow directly to the top third of the world heritage Great Barrier Reef (GBR), including ten of the Reef’s 30 unique bioregions. The Cape York region has exceptional, intact wilderness areas and a rich cultural landscape, with Traditional Custodians maintaining strong connections to Country.​

    Yet, there are also growing pressures on the region. Visitors bring litter and waste that damage cultural and natural areas. Roads and other disturbances cause erosion that washes sediment into waterways. Land managers continue to tackle the spread of weeds and feral animals. Severe cyclones and extreme weather, driven by climate change, threaten the health of corals and coastal vegetation. There is a need to address these pressures and take meaningful local action to preserve the values of the region.

    Cape York Peninsula is one of five Reef regions to develop a CAP, with a main focus in the south-east (Endeavour, Jeannie, and Normanby catchments). The purpose of this CAP was to build on previous plans and combine the voices of Traditional Owners, community members and youth to identify priorities for practical, on-ground activities that will benefit the local marine and coastal environment.

    To build the CAP, Cape York NRM and South Cape York Catchments held seven workshops from October 2020 to January 2021. At the workshops, participants shared strategies for community action, prioritised these strategies, and collaboratively developed ‘roadmaps’ to map out how their priority strategies will work.

    This CAP documents the community’s proposed priority strategies to benefit the local marine and coastal environment, as well as the key values and pressures relevant for local action.

  • Project activities

    The CAP development phase involved the delivery of seven community workshops, resulting in the development of a Community Action Plan and 13 priority strategies for Reef protection.

Project location

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