Students Revegetate to Fight Erosion

Monica Haynes
March 30, 2017

Students from Trinity Beach and Caravonica State Schools came together to revegetate part of Thomatis Creek in Holloways Beach, in a joint project with Terrain NRM and Yirrgandydji rangers that will slow erosion and reconnect natural habitat along the creek.

Terrain is able to support this great work through funding from the Queensland Government's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

As part of an ongoing initiative that allows students to monitor the impact of positive human intervention on creek erosion, students planted 300 saplings. The site forms part of a larger 250 metre by 30 metre strip that will be revegetated with naturally occurring tree species specific to the site zone. Over 5000 mangroves have already been planted on the lower bank, and are showing good growth rates.

Terrain’s Community Partnerships Officer, Rowan Shee, says the site has important landscape connectivity value.

“The Thomatis Creek area has been identified as an environmental issue because of the extensive and highly visible erosion, which is due to the lack of riparian vegetation. We believe the land was cleared about 50 years ago and has been eroding ever since. The site is on the outside of a large river bend which exacerbates the problem.”

Revegetation will help to stabilise the creek banks, and improve the degree of connectivity to facilitate better movement for animal species.

The project has generated interest and action from a number of parties including Cairns Regional Council, Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation, Smithfield High School Tropical North Learning Academy, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Holloways Beach Coastcare, Queensland Corrective Services and Holloways Beach Environmental Education Centre.

Trinity Beach’s school captain, Anastasiya, said she hopes what they’re doing will help achieve improved environmental outcomes.

“It seems like the Great Barrier Reef is deteriorating and because places like this are actually gateways to the Reef, it’s important to manage things better here.”

Smithfield High School STEM Coordinator Terri Mulqueen said the project shows students that they can create real change.

“Working with Terrain not only brought the expertise required to make our land care project a success, it also allowed students to engage with experts and the wider community in general, bringing a much wider scope of understanding to their learning. Through Terrain we were able to encompass indigenous perspectives, show students areas of work that they had not previously known about, and perhaps most importantly, help them understand how one person’s actions can make a difference - particularly when we all decide to work together.”