Why healthy wetlands are important for a healthy reef

This is a guest post written by Chelsea Broad. Chelsea attended the World Wetlands Day event put on by NQ Dry Tropics on Thursday 2nd Feb 2017. The views expressed in this post are the authors and not necessarily those of NQCC.

 

Photo credit: Chelsea Broad

World Wetlands Day works to educate the community on the issues facing the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and inspire the community to take action to protect the GBR and associated wetlands. More than 50 community members participated in educational lectures from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and tours of ReefHQ and AIMS, including the world class scientific laboratory, SeaSim, within the Townsville region.

 

Did you know that keeping inland wetlands healthy is crucial for protecting the GBR? This is because corals need sediment-free water to be healthy. Inland wetlands filter sediments out of the waterways prior to arriving to the ocean, providing the corals with sediment free water. Without healthy wetlands, the GBR is at risk of increased sediment exposure. The radiant reef ecosystem pictured here is located at AIMS to educate guests on what a healthy outer reef looks like.  Continue reading “Why healthy wetlands are important for a healthy reef”

Clearing law loss a disaster for the Reef, climate change and wildlife

Last night, the Queensland government failed to pass vital land-clearing reform legislation.

This is a disaster of Queensland’s making.

It’s a huge win for big agriculture and a terrible blow for our Reef, climate change and hundreds of Queensland’s vulnerable or endangered species.

The health of our Reef is directly linked to increased erosion that comes from the tree clearing. Queensland has now passed up the chance to take real steps to protect our Reef for Australians and visitors around the world who support a major tourism industry.

Clearing in Queensland has doubled since 2011 to almost 300,000 hectares a year, more than half of this in reef catchments.

The rejection of this legislation is at odds with $8.2 billion recently announced to restore erosion and fix water quality in catchments flowing to the Reef.  These reforms were essential for the Reef to stay off the UNESCO World Heritage ‘in danger’ list.

It’s tragic that, as a State, we aren’t doing a better job of protecting our state and its globally significant natural assets.

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More coverage: ‘Queensland land-clearing controls face defeat with former Labor MP voting no’, in The Guardian, and ‘Toughened tree clearing laws fail to pass Queensland Parliament in blow to minority Labor Government’, on ABC News.