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Reef Catchments Annual Report 2019 – 2020

reefcatchments.com.au

Suite 1/85 Gordon Street, Mackay and 45 Main Street, Proserpine

Note from the Chair, Julie Boyd

The first half of the financial year saw Reef Catchments working hard to secure new funding but at the same time ensuring all existing project milestones were met and we finished the year in a very strong position. However, 2020 has been an interesting year for everyone. In Reef Catchments, we learnt to quickly adapt to a changing work environment, manage our work flow remotely and ensure all the team were updated and kept informed about changes to COVID-19 rules while feeling supported and engaged.

The Board and team came through with ease albeit we had to stop doing some of the things we enjoyed such as meeting with stakeholders and undertaking our annual members’ field day. But it was a small price to pay to be able to continue with our core functions and meet the obligations of our stakeholders and funders. It became a great opportunity to use technology to our advantage and in many respects, it hastened changing some work processes that had been considered to be good ones to streamline.

RCL is going from strength to strength and Katrina and the team have continued their solid commitment and engagement but always with an eye to the future, looking for innovative ways to source funds to ensure that our environment is better managed and maintained. I’d like to thank the Board for their ongoing support and passion and to Katrina and the team, you continue to make the Board very proud of the work that you do.

CEO update: A year in review – Katrina Dent

This annual reporting period can clearly be separated into two halves. The first half focused on raising the profile of natural resource management (NRM) to a new audience through monthly radio segments, increasing attendance at major events such as the annual Healthy Soils Symposium, wider audience invite to Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership releases, production and distribution of Provenance Magazine, and inviting reef scientists, growers, Traditional Owners, government and policy makers to converge in Mackay for the Reef Synthesis in November 2019.

We continued to raise the profile of strong regional planning to assist in identifying and prioritising NRM issues and solutions. We did this through engaging with key stakeholders on the review of the NRM plan, and government-led workshops on the importance of regional water quality improvement plans.

The second half focused on reflection, resilience, strong character, agility and flexibility, creativity, and revised planning to ensure the community’s needs and expectations were still meet in very testing global times.

Our top priority was connection, engagement and the health and well-being of all Reef Catchments staff. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on our business operations both internally and externally our staff had to learn very quickly how to remain fluid and in motion with the ever-changing guidelines surrounding what we would normally consider business as usual, engaging face to face with our community. During a period of ever-changing disruption both personally and professionally, staff had to react to the changing needs of our regions requirements while supporting their co-workers, their families, sometimes financially and emotionally and some staff even became teachers in their own homes while juggling their work responsibilities. The second half of the 2019/2020 financial year has shown that the staff at Reef Catchments are resilient and engaged and while we were able to finish the year together in the offices, it was a very new and chaotic norm that we had to become accustomed to very quickly. Congratulations and thank you to such a dynamic and caring team.

We achieved so much, and continued to explore and succeed in bringing new opportunities to the region for growers, land managers, industry, stakeholders, and the community.

Water quality the focus of farming projects

The focus of the cane activities at Reef Catchments were on improving water quality through the Janes Creek project and commencing the development of the Mackay Whitsunday Water Quality Program. The Janes Creek project was funded through the Queensland Government Reef Water Quality Program and delivered by Reef Catchments Ltd and Mackay Area Productivity Services Ltd.

The Janes Creek project ran from April 2018 to May 2020 and delivered a multifaced integrated whole of system approach to improving water quality in the Janes Creek sub-catchment. In partnership with Mackay Area Productivity Services (MAPS), better land management and increased land stewardship were developed. This included the construction of a high efficiency treatment train (ponding technology), one on one extension and the establishment of the Janes Creek Catchment group, involving both grazing and cane landholders and cane harvesting contactors. Group members were trained and several participated in collecting farm water runoff. Combined with the collection of water samples by Reef Catchments throughout the Janes Creek waterways in both rural and urban (Mackay Gooseponds) areas, their analysis provided an extensive report on water quality in both rural and urban areas of the sub-catchment. The project provided a better understanding of the multiple factors influencing water quality in rural and urban areas and demonstrated that for it to improve, it will require a multifaceted, whole of community approach.

The Mackay Whitsunday Water Quality Program (MWWQP) is one of ten regional water quality programs to be conducted by the Reef Trust – Great Barrier Foundation Partnership. Reef Catchments successfully applied for the consultancy contract to provide the regional, on ground support, of the program through two positions, the Program Manager and the Regional Coordinator, with additional support from Reef Catchments staff. Currently the program is in the development phase. The location of the program is across the Plane and Pioneer Catchments with end of catchment target load reductions of 26 tonne DIN and 215 kg pesticide.

Graziers engaged in high-priority areas

The Grazing Water Quality project through the Queensland Government’s Natural Resource Investment Program continued to engage grazing landholders in priority sub-catchments across the region during 2019-2020. Twenty-seven graziers received funding to increase the uptake of best practice activities such as land type and riparian fencing, watering points, pasture improvement, gully remediation and riparian improvement. This represented 18,000 hectares of grazing land that implemented best practice natural resource management activities into their operations. The funding through this project has increased the adoption of best practice grazing techniques and produced improvements in land condition leading to improved water quality.

The Grassroots project funded through the Department of Environment and Science and delivered through collaboration between Resource Consulting Services (RCS), Fitzroy Basin Association and Reef Catchments concluded in June 2020. Nine local grazing landholders took part in the project which focused on providing funding and support to develop their farm management capacity, grow property production and improve land condition. Participants attended an RCS Grazing for Profit school and Soil Health workshop, received one-on-one coaching through the Next Steps program, annual financial benchmarking and business analysis using RCS ProfitProbe and on-farm consultations with RCS advisers, property mapping and planning through Reef Catchments, and $10,000 grants for implementing on-farm changes. All landholders and their achievements were profiled in a series of case studies, all of which are available on the Reef Catchments web site.

RALF focuses on productivity and sustainability

Juliane Kasiske is Reef Catchments Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator (RALF). Her position is funded by the Australian Government through the National Landcare Program.

This year, Juliane continued her focus and commitment towards the grazing sector, which remains under resourced within the region.

The RALFs overarching focus lies on water quality, farm productivity and sustainable farm resource management. This saw the RALF addressing hot topics like stocking rates, genetics, fertility, disease control, biodiversity, pasture and soil improvements, and vegetation management assisting landholders to move confidently forward in their business.

This year’s achievements

Soil Symposium: A three-day series with Dr Christine Jones on 27, 28 and 29 November in the Mackay and Proserpine district. An annual achievement with soil health at its focus, sharing local, national, and international success stories of regenerative, biological, and organic farming methods.

High Steaks III: In September 2019 the RALF and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries collaborated to deliver their third animal-focused event together. Western Australian cattle vet Enoch Bergman shared his expertise on livestock and disease management.

Two-day Holistic Grazing Bus Tour: Held in September 2019, this cross-regional and cross-project bus tour enabled peer-to-peer learning and networking between Mackay-Whitsunday graziers and producers of the Bowen and Collinsville region who participate in the Landholders Drive Change project.

RALF and producers embracing Zoom during COVID-19 times: Virtual engagement continued between the RALF and members of the Grazing Regional Working Group. The annual Grazing Forum which usually attracts over 100 producers was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Sustainable agriculture team branches into holistic farm planning

The Holistic Farm Management project is a new direction in regenerative agriculture projects for the sustainable agriculture team in Reef Catchments. Thanks to funding from the Australian Government National Landcare Program, an initial intake of 18 participants were supported to dig deep into an Introduction to Holistic Farm Management workshop with Terry McCosker from Resource Consulting Services (RCS) over two days. The group will be supported over four years to implement changes in their farming and business practices that use an integrative systems approach to achieve improved soil health, biodiversity and vegetation, as well as gains in productivity.

Connecting consumers and producers through farm to plate experiences is an important way to support the food system, strong relationships allow producers to quickly adapt to market demands and knowing your farmer means consumers are more likely to purchase consistently. The hundred hungry guests at the St Lawrence Wetlands Weekend Seafood Dining Experience were treated to a gourmet local lunch by celebrity chef Matt Golinski and local chef Nik Flack which included the stories behind the food and producers.

Provenance magazine was created as a regional branding opportunity for consumers to get to know the farmers, the diversity of food produced in this region, as well as retailers and restaurants where local produce is available. The initial 3000 copies funded by the Australian Government National Landcare Program were so popular, Reef Catchments printed another 3000 copies with additional financial support from both Mackay Regional Council and the Greater Whitsunday Food Network.

Preserving the big barra at Rocky Dam Creek

Koumala’s Rocky Dam Creek is known for its big barramundi, it is, after all, a declared fish habitat area and part of a nationally significant wetland. There are a number of barriers to fish passage in the region, and Reef Catchments has been targeting those barriers to promote sustainable fish populations. Many of these barriers exist on freshwater wetlands, where bund walls were created many decades ago to limit tidal intrusion. While this created ponded pastures for grazing, the bund walls also impede the movement of diadromous fish species (fish that migrate between salt water and freshwater). By working with landholders to improve fish passage in the area, fish can successfully migrate from estuaries to freshwater wetlands. This is an important process for many of our iconic species such as the barramundi (Lates calcarifer) and mangrove jack (Lutjanus argentimaculatus). These works are also significant for the many wetland animals that feed on fish, such as the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and the jabiru (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus).

Over the past year, one new fishway was constructed and repairs were made to three fishways that sustained damage during Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie. At one fishway, monitoring showed over 5000 fish were ascending the fishway per day. At the same Rocky Dam Creek fishway, 89 juvenile barramundi were recorded to be ascending the fishway within 24 hours. Some of the barramundi recorded at fishways were as small as 25 millimeters. These are some of the highest numbers and smallest sizes of juvenile barramundi ever recorded ascending fishways in Queensland.

In addition to the fishways, habitat refuges were installed at an ecologically significant wetland to provide deeper pools and structure during dry periods. By undertaking weed control, riparian revegetation, fish barrier removal and habitat creation, a whole of catchment approach is being taken towards conserving wetlands and the many species that inhabit them.

These works are funded through the Queensland Government’s Natural Resources Investment Program.

"Barra was a staple food for the Yuwibara people, let's help sustain them for future generations to come." – Uncle George Tonga, Yuwibara Elder
“Access to habitat is just as important as habitat itself. Fish ladders allow juvenile fish such as barramundi access to freshwater wetlands, where the abundance of in-stream habitat such as aquatic plants and logs allows them to evade predators, increasing their chance of survival, before migrating back to saltwater where they enter the fishery. This means more fish for everyone.” – Matt Moore, Fisheries Ecologist

A positive year for our coasts and islands

Work in the coastal and island space continued this year in three areas:

1. Islands project

2019-20 was the third year of the Australian Government funded islands project, which includes:

  • seagrass monitoring
  • turtle monitoring
  • Youth Ambassador (YA) project about coral/algae tipping thresholds and reef health
  • eradicating weeds from Goldsmith Island
  • removing marine debris from Whitsunday islands.

All of these activities were delivered as planned, with the exception of a few community events, which had to be canceled due to COVID-19.

The 2019-2020 Youth Ambassadors (YAs) deserve a special mention. Eight high school students from Sarina put together an ambitious project to go to Daydream Island (pictured) to learn about coral propagation and coral-algae tipping thresholds. They made a great video to share their learnings with the broader community, placing special emphasis on how we can all contribute to improving water quality. The YAs also put their learning into practice, free diving in Lovers Cove to remove algae from bommies, providing space for Daydream Island staff to plant live corals. Finally, hand-made reusable bags, made from op shop clothes, were handed out on Daydream Island, along with brochures about reef and coral health. All of the budgeting, purchase of equipment, travel and general project management was left to the YAs.

It’s definitely a very rewarding part of the islands project, seeing our future conservation leaders having their first real-world project management experience.

2. Mackay Local Marine Advisory Committee litter project

On the marine debris front – apart from continuing to fund beach clean ups throughout the Whitsunday islands – we have delivered (and are continuing to deliver) litter source reduction projects on behalf of the Mackay Local Marine Advisory Committee (LMAC). The LMAC secured funding last year to increase understanding of litter issues in the Mackay region and begin to deliver projects to reduce litter at the source, including trialling novel cigarette butt voting bins and stormwater drain artwork. Excitingly, the LMAC has just secured additional funding to extend this project. We’ll be focusing further on the most prolific and widespread litter item found anywhere in Australia – cigarette butt litter.

“It was exciting to see the gross pollutant trap project bring together representatives from all over the community to tackle marine debris in our region. Marine debris, particularly source identification, is something the Mackay LMAC is passionate about, and we were extremely pleased with the outcomes of this project. We are looking forward to continuing this journey and tackling marine debris in our region.” – Caitlin Davies, Chair of the Mackay Local Marine Advisory Committee

3. Whitsunday water quality monitoring blueprint for tourism operators

Tourism operators in the Whitsundays began collecting data in a citizen science project to keep track of the water quality in their area. The Whitsunday Water Quality Monitoring Blueprint for Tourism Operators project aims to increase understanding of water quality and reef health in the Whitsundays.

Tourism operators have been maintaining data loggers and taking water quality samples every four to six weeks since February 2020. They have been trained by scientists from James Cook University in how to take water quality samples.

Even though COVID-19 severely impacted the tourism industry, the participating operators and project partners remained committed to the health of the reef and resumed monitoring as soon as restrictions allowed.

“Water quality monitoring has been on our Ocean Rafting wish list for many years and it is so exciting that we have an opportunity to be involved right now.” – Jan Claxton, Principal at Ocean Rafting

As part of the blueprint for tourism project, Reef Catchments also hosted a citizen science workshop in late 2019 in the Whitsundays. This workshop saw representatives from 19 different organisations band together to form a collective vision for citizen science, and set regional priorities. The vision for the region is: "A collaboration of well-resourced citizen science groups collecting central GBR information that is accessible and valued."

This project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, North Queensland Bulk Ports, and Reef Catchments, with support from Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association, James Cook University, Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership and the Whitsunday Bareboat Operators Association.

Participating tourism operators are Ocean Rafting, Red Cat Adventures, True Blue Sailing, Southern Cross Sailing Adventures, and Tallship Adventures.

TORG leads the way in protecting Indigenous cultural heritage

Reef Catchments and the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac Traditional Owner Reference Group (TORG) are committed to making the region a leader in proactive cultural heritage, and environmental management through active roles in managing, maintaining and protecting tribal lands, sea and waters within the region.

Reef Catchments has worked closely with the TORG for over 12 years. The TORG includes representatives from each of the seven tribes across the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac region –Yuwibara, Koinjmal/Koinmerburra, Barada/Widi and Ngaro/Gia/Juru.

The 2019/20 year saw the TORG progress with the development of a Cultural Information Management System database. This database is now in place and provides an organised structure for recording traditional knowledge and cultural assets, including sites, as a means to influence and prioritise on-ground work and monitoring activities.

The TORG also received training in how to use the database and how to use mobile devices to collect cultural heritage data while on country.

While things slowed down during COVID-19 restrictions, the TORG managed to meet on five occasions during the 2019/20 period, including via teleconference twice, to progress discussions around their objectives, build networks with stakeholders including Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Reef Check, progress training and identify future funding opportunities.

2019/20 also saw traditional knowledge highlighted at the annual Reef Synthesis, which was held in Mackay for the first time in November 2019. Increased recognition of the work the TORG has achieved led to members of the TORG being invited to sit on a discussion panel as part of this event, with Samarla Deshong, a Koinmerburra Traditional Owner and TORG member since the group’s inception, leading the yarning circle during the event.

Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership continues with its waterway health mission

Launched in 2014, the Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership (HR2RP) is a collective that includes representatives from local, state and federal government, conservation groups, ports and coal organisations, tourism, agriculture, Traditional Owners and other associated parties. All who have a shared mission of improving waterway health, locally.

Each year the HR2RP produces a Waterway Health Report Card that assigns rivers, creeks, dams, estuaries, reefs (inshore and offshore) and other marine areas a grade from A to D, based on performance, much like a traditional school report card. In 2019 the pilot (2018) Stewardship Report celebrating organisations that have gone above and beyond was released in October 2019.

Key findings from the 2019 Waterway Health Report Card include:

  • We are starting to see some improvement in the inshore seagrass that was the hardest hit by Cyclone Debbie.
  • Water quality in the offshore zone remained in a very good condition for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Water quality in the inshore marine environment ranged from moderate to very poor, largely driven by land use activities and natural events such as rainfall.
  • Pesticides unfortunately, continued to be the poorest scoring water quality indicator in both freshwater and estuarine systems. Imidacloprid, atrazine and diuron were the key contributors which are used to suppress pest insects and weeds.

To learn more, download your copy here.

Treatment system monitoring project draws to a close

This was the last out of three years for the treatment systems monitoring project funded by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. The focus for the water team, once more, was to capture the first wet season flushes. This time sampling was concentrated at the Bakers Creek treatment train, where Reef Catchments had deployed extra instruments, including Isco Avalanche autosamplers. Sampling also continued at a common cane drain nearby with similar length, for comparison.

The 2019-20 wet season proved to be below average with the initial flows not starting until just after Christmas for the first flow and during the Australia Day long weekend for the second event and with consecutive events in March. Still, these events were nothing like the flows that eventuated from the Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie that considerably damaged the fish ladder at the outlet of the systems connecting it to Bakers Creek main channel.

Conditions in the wetland were severely hypoxic for the first two months of the 2020 wet season. This means that the waters contained insufficient oxygen to support most local fish species other than a few low-oxygen specialists such as tarpon and eels. These conditions would likely have favoured hypoxia-tolerant noxious exotics such as gambusia and tilapia. The available data suggests that the Baker's Creek wetland may be capable of a reduction in the quantities of pesticides being released into the environment.

Even though water quality monitoring equipment was stolen from the inlet at the Bakers treatment train, monitoring continued, capturing important data that assists in improving knowledge and understanding of the complex pollutants cycles in the Mackay regions wetland treatment systems.

Major works to prevent streambank erosion

Reef Catchments has continued to work to improve the condition of waterways throughout the region during the past financial year. Projects such as Reef Trust IV have worked with landholders to implement projects across the O’Connell basin in St Helens and Murray Creeks and along the O’Connell River. In total the project stretches along more than 40 km of the waterways with 36 project sites involving 29 landholders.

Initial monitoring of streambank erosion identified through the creation of digital elevation models of difference that the three waterways lost over 2.9M cubic metres of soil from streambanks along 82 km of the waterways.

The project uses a range of management interventions to reduce streambank erosion including soft approaches like vegetation management, revegetation and riparian fencing and more hard engineering options like pile fields, rock toes and timber groynes.

To date, the project has planted more than 37,000 native plants along the riparian zones of waterways in the O’Connell Basin to assist in stabilizing streambanks.

With two more years to run, the project ensures that sites have much needed time for the revegetation to establish and be maintained to ensure the benefits of the project continue long after completion.

“Working with the Reef Catchments NRM wetlands team has been really exciting. Wetlands provide so many cultural, environmental and economic services, and their protection and restoration using whole-of-system approaches requires data similar to that collected here at Bakers Creek between Reef Catchments and TropWATER.” – Nathan Waltham, Deputy Director, James Cook University Marine Data Technologies Hub, Principal Research Scientist, TropWATER.

Disaster recovery funds help repair damage from monsoon

The far north and north Queensland monsoon trough produced an extended period of rainfall, leading to widespread flooding and damage, this event damaged habitat, reduced biodiversity and exported sediments along riverine and coastal areas. In response, the Disaster Recovery Funding Assistance package was developed to help restore and rehabilitate these affected areas.

In the past 12 months, the Water and Waterways team has been working with a number of delivery partners to design and construct rehabilitation measures for the 11 impacted areas. Works on four of these sites are complete with the remaining sites to be completed by June 2021. The works include rock revetment to protect banks, installation of groynes and pile fields to impact flow hydrology and revegetation to restore habitat while also providing structural integrity and permeance to the works via nature.

“We love our riparian areas, and to see them so affected was heartbreaking, this works will restore these habitats ensuring future generations can enjoy what we do." – Tony Jeppeson, farmer
“It’s great to see Government, Reef Catchments and farmers working together to restore river health, this work supports jobs, helps the local economy and helps protects the sense of community that our creeks and rivers provide.” – Gary McMillan, contractor

Looking after native wildlife and ecosystems

The Mackay Whitsunday Isaac region is home to numerous unique and threatened ecosystems and wildlife. Over the past year, Reef Catchments has continued to deliver projects to protect and enhance our natural environments and the species that inhabit them.

Two projects are being delivered throughout the region aiming to increase understanding and protection of critically endangered “beach scrub”, a rainforest regional ecosystem found in the coastal zone. The first of these projects has funded a wide-scale assessment of remnant beach scrub patches. Using ecological condition profiles, Reef Catchments staff have been able to assess the condition of these patches which has helped us prioritise where to direct on-ground funding for maximum effect. The second project has been revegetation at Nelly Bay near Dingo Beach. We’re helping to fill gaps in the forest around that area, as gaps allow weeds to establish. A series of signs have been upgraded along the Nelly Bay walking track too, to increase community awareness and understanding of beach scrub communities.

Building from works in the previous year, activities continued that promoted the health of regional waterways and wetlands. Within both the Gregory River and Rocky Dam Creek areas, Reef Catchments worked with landholders and stakeholders to revegetate riparian areas, carry out weed control, remove barriers to fish passage, install riparian fencing and off-stream watering points, conduct aerial pig shoots and to install aquatic habitats and refuges. The ecosystems that are enhanced by these activities are numerous.

Ecologically significant wetlands and endangered remnant ecosystems are being protected, which in turn benefits wildlife such as the endangered Proserpine rock wallaby (Petrogale persephone).

Saltwater crocodiles (pictured) are considered to be an indicator of ecosystem health and biodiversity, a promising metric given the crocodiles that inhabit the Rocky Dam Creek area.

“The high proportion of diadromous species reflect the quality of the (Gregory River) environment and connectivity of these lower reaches, highlighted by the capture of a jungle perch, an excellent ecosystem health indicator given their requirement for connectivity and high-quality habitat condition.” – Matt Moore, Fisheries Ecologist

Working together with rural fire brigades

Reef Catchments has been managing projects that seek to engage rural fire brigades throughout our NRM region for enhanced disaster preparedness and resilience outcomes. By delivering on-ground hazard reduction activities, providing geographic information system (GIS) and operational support, as well as delivering training events, rural fire brigades within the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac region have increased their resilience and capacity to respond to future fire events.

Reef Catchments has delivered training, GIS support and management plans to rural fire brigades in high-risk bushfire areas, established high priority fire breaks in consultation with the brigades, delivered training events open to brigades throughout the region, and worked collaboratively with key stakeholders including local and state government to implement planned burns.

Rocky Dam project engages farmers in water quality monitoring

The Plane Basin Grower Led Water Quality Monitoring and Engagement - Rocky Dam Creek Project (Stage 2) worked with Sarina Landcare Catchment Management Association (SLCMA) and local landholders to build capacity and ownership of a water quality monitoring program.

The project designed and implemented a complex grower led water quality monitoring program in the Plane Creek basin over the 2019/20 wet season. It trained two SLCMA staff and six farmers in water quality sampling. The full target of 108 samples were collected across five creek systems. 82% were rain event-based samples, and 18% were ambient samples. Samples were analysed for 87 pesticides, total suspended solids, dissolved inorganic nitrogen, total nitrogen, and filterable reactive phosphorus. Each farmer undertook a minimum of three samples for each of two events.

This project engaged Landcare in water quality monitoring and strengthened their knowledge, experience and capacity for undertaking water quality studies, field coordination and the assessment of complex multi-faceted problems. This has enhanced their ability to implement their recently awarded Queensland Citizen Science Grant for an ambient/baseline water quality monitoring program over the next three years. Information gained from the current project will be incorporated into that project’s design and implementation, and will allow for trends to be described over a longer timeframe.

“It was amazing to see so many landholders interested in learning more about the impacts of their land management practices and wanting to develop a wider understanding of local water quality. By having the landholders collect their own samples throughout the project, the resulting data meant more than just numbers on a page, and helped to contextualise their land management practices.” – Morgan Thomas, Project Coordinator, Sarina Landcare Catchment Management Association

The Reef Catchments team

Australian Government Regional Land Partnerships Program

Funded projects / areas include:

  • Encouraging farmers to take a holistic approach to farm management, primarily to improve soil carbon to benefit farm productivity and provide ecological services in the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac region
  • Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator - ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of agricultural projects in the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac (MWI) region
  • Communications and engagement
  • Traditional Owner participation
  • Management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (Islands)

Queensland Government Natural Resources Investment Program

Funded projects / areas include:

  • Paddock to Reef program - regional support
  • Addressing priority subcatchment water quality targets through grazing management interventions
  • Improving the relative ecological condition of freshwater
  • Reef Catchments regional coordination and evaluation

Resilient ecosystems, engaged community

Reef Catchments is your Natural Resource Management (NRM) group for the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac region.