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Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership Stewardship Report

Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership Stewardship Report

The Great Barrier Reef undergoes much scrutiny in reports that, typically, have a reef-wide or regional focus.

The Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership recently took a much closer-to-home approach.

The first ever Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac Stewardship Report 2018 is a community and industry response to waterway health issues.

It is a practice the other 4 reef regional report card partnerships plan to adopt annually.

To be read alongside the annual report card on ecological, socio-economic, and cultural heritage condition, the stewardship report showcased the varied actions partner organisations took in 2017–18 to protect or enhance water quality and ecosystem health condition in their region.

Stewardship actions highlighted in the Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac report included:

  • efforts to reduce pesticide run-off in Sandy Creek (Plane Creek catchment) through better farming practices
  • waterway habitat restoration
  • reduced erosion in the Don River basin by improving cattle farming practices and installing fences along waterways
  • beneficial re-use of aquatic weeds for fertiliser
  • restoration of coral communities damaged by Tropical Cyclone Debbie
  • additional seagrass and coral monitoring by the Ports sector
  • beach clean-up initiatives
  • the introduction of a voluntary code of practice scheme for recreational fishers
  • citizen science programs (e.g. Seagrass Watch)
  • council initiatives to introduce fishways and additional gross pollutant traps
  • waste and energy minimisation practices.

The stewardship report also highlighted the major achievements of that period and future priorities, in terms of management responses.

The Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership is a collaboration between community, Traditional Owners, farmers, fishers, industry, science, tourism and government. Its region includes the catchments of the Don, Proserpine, O’Connell, Pioneer and Plane basins, the urban area of Mackay, the ports of Abbot Point, Mackay and Hay Point and the coastal and marine area to the eastern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

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