Great Barrier Reef wetlands

Restoring the Great Barrier Reef’s catchments and coastal wetlands

The iconic Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s most celebrated natural wonder, relies on healthy catchments and coastal wetlands. This month the Reef, its catchments and wetlands received a major boost with the announcement of a $4 million restoration initiative.

Conservation Volunteers Australia and their new partner organization WetlandCare Australia will be working with Greening Australia and Birdlife Australia to deliver a 200 hectare project of on-ground catchment and coastal wetland restoration works, restoring key habitats to improve water quality in the Great Barrier Reef region. The project will implement science based methods to protect threatened species habitats and maintain biodiversity.

wedgetailed eagle sitting on a tree branch

A wedge-tailed eagle, an important predator in the Great Barrier Reef’s wetlands.

Coastal wetlands filter the water entering the Reef from rivers and land run off, trapping sediments and pollutants before they enter the Reef system and the Coral Sea. It is estimated that over 80% of the Reef’s coastal wetlands have been lost or degraded, resulting in habitat loss and damage to the Reef.

WetlandCare Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia’s combined expertise in science based wetland restoration, catchment management, volunteer and community engagement will ensure that together with the project partners, this restoration project will play a key role in repairing coastal wetland habitats, improving the health and resilience of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.

Funding for the project will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Australian government with business philanthropic partners.

WetlandCare Australia has been restoring the internationally important wetlands of the Barratta Creek Catchment and Bowling Green Bay since 2012 through the “Delivering Biodiversity Dividends for the Barratta Creek Catchment” project, funded by the Australia Government’s Clean Energy Future fund. This project has resulted in major revegetation works, constructed wetlands and improved habitats throughout the Barratta Creek catchment, and delivered extensive training in fire management and pest animal control to local communities.

Building on established relationships in the Great Barrier Reef region, the project partnership consortium will work with Reef Trust, land owners, indigenous groups and science and community organisations in alignment with the Great Barrier Reef Strategy 2015.

You can support our work by donating to Conservation Volunteers Australia through our secure online system, or take the opportunity to become a partner in protecting the Great Barrier Reef’s catchments and wetlands.

For more information, contact Ian Walker, Director, Conservation Volunteers Australia on 0437 198 706.