More prominence will be given to the restoration, construction and maintenance of critical wetlands in the Mackay-Whitsunday region, thanks to the good work of the Wetland Working Group.
Formed this year, the group aims to develop and share information on wetland activities that are happening locally, as well as seeking partnerships to add value to these programs.
Reef Catchments Program Leader – Land Water & Waterways, Adam Folkers, said wetlands (areas of the land where water covers the soil) were some of the most diverse and important environmental assets in the region.
“Wetlands can be both natural or constructed and deliver a realm of benefits.
Wetlands provide protection from the marine environment to the land and shore and reduce the impacts of floods.
“Wetlands are also critical sites for biodiversity, providing habitat for plants and animals, including many migratory, juveniles native fish species and some regionally iconic species such as the rare Black Necked Stork.”
Wetland types are diverse and can include rivers, swamps, lakes, lagoons, mudflats, mangroves and even coral reefs.
The current Wetland Working Group includes representatives from Reef Catchments, DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry), GBRMPA, Regional Councils (Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac) and regional Landcare groups.
Two key projects being overseen by the group so far include the rehabilitation of De Moleyns Lagoon, a natural wetland located in the Pioneer Valley near Mirani, and a constructed wetland located at Blacks Beach, north of Mackay.
New video resources have been developed to provide an interactive overview of the projects and information regarding wetland construction and maintenance.