01 Jul 2021
Normanby Basin Gully Remediation Demonstration Site
This project works to repair gully erosion in the Normanby basin and train Traditional Owners in the skills needed to carry out such work. Training includes gaining certificates in earthworks machinery and erosion science. Combined, this knowledge equips participants to carry out their own natural resource management projects from conception to completion. The training also increases job prospects and builds the capacity of these ranger groups and corporations to repair their local roads, fix erosion on their land and deal with the clean up after disasters, such as cyclones and flooding. Ultimately, the project will lead to a sharing of traditional and scientific knowledge that will have lasting socioeconomic and environmental benefits.
The loss of valuable topsoil through erosion decreases agriculture productivity and reduces the health of the land. The highly erosive soils of the upper Normanby catchment contribute significant fine sediment loads entering the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Siltation of the inner GBR is an added stress to corals exacerbating other stresses from climate change and crown of thorns outbreaks that lead to coral bleaching. By repairing gully erosion in the Normanby basin, soil loss and the siltation of rivers that enter the GBR can be reduced.
Many local ranger groups and corporations in Cape York are eager to take charge of their country, implementing their own NRM projects, earthworks and track maintenance without relying on outside help. However, the remoteness of Cape York and the costs involved have limited access to the required training. Providing machinery training and erosion science modules will build Traditional Owner capacity to look after country, improve employability, and improve water quality entering the GBR.
During the 2021 dry season a series of training and workshops covered:
- Operating rollers, compactors, loaders and skid steers.
- Hands on practice remediating gully erosion.
In 2022, the training will include:
- Erosion science modules provided by Griffith University that will teach participants basic soil science, drivers of erosion, and repair strategies, as well as training in GPS, GIS and mapping techniques.