Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) has welcomed a new report which highlights projects that are improving land management, farm productivity and the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.
The Reef Trust Water Quality Achievements report was released by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water.
Poor water quality impacts the health of the Reef, and it also affects the Reef’s ability to resist and recover from the impact of climate change, natural disasters, and other threats.
BMRG chief executive Tom Espinoza said improving water quality is one of the most important things we can do to protect the Reef.
“The report demonstrates how collaboration and innovation is helping to improve water quality, by reducing sediment and nutrient runoff to the Reef,” he said.
The report includes BMRG’s Integrated Habitat Restoration for the Discovery Coast, which stabilised 1.8km of the Kolan River bank to prevent 7000 tonnes of sediment from reaching the Reef.
Tom said BMRG led a three-year program in partnership with the landholder, Bundaberg Sugar, to stabilise riverbank erosion, revegetate the banks and restore habitat.
“The left bank of the Kolan River had moved up to 70 metres between 1959 and 2020 due to the loss of mangroves and riparian vegetation,” he said.
“The final works in April 2023 involved planting native species, undertaken by staff from Indigenous-owned enterprise Gidarjil Development Corporation.”
Other highlights in the report include:
- Projects that are preventing thousands of tonnes of sediment from reaching the Reef by managing erosion;
- Delivery partners and growers working together to minimise losses of nutrients and pesticides from the land;
- Sugarcane farmers using GPS data to better inform on-farm decisions and reduce nitrogen runoff;
- Farmers changing land management practices to reduce their use of nitrogen fertiliser.
These projects involve collaboration between partners that include Natural Resource Management groups, farmers, landholders and Traditional Owners.
The Reef Trust is the Australian Government’s flagship investment program to support the delivery of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.
The Reef Trust supports a range of projects to improve water quality and support the long-term health of the Great Barrier Reef.
The full report can be found here.