Call for More ‘Reef’ Partners
July 29, 2016
The health of the Great Barrier Reef can be enhanced by working together as a community to improve local waterways, according to the Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways Partnership.
The Partnership, an initiative of the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan, was launched on 24 June as a community initiative to bring industries, institutions and community groups together to improve the quality of water flowing to the Reef.
Chair Ryan Donnelly said that representatives from organisations across the Wet Tropics understand and agree that collaboration is the way forward to enhance the health of the region’s greatest asset and encouraged all organisations to join the Partnership.
“So far we have five organisations signed up as Partners. Terrain NRM, Cairns Regional Council, AMPTO, Ports North and the Queensland Government have all proven their commitment to supporting this initiative with solid financial contributions. However, we need more organisations to become Partners if this initiative is to succeed. Organisations can contribute as much or as little as they deem appropriate, including providing in-kind support,” he said.
One of the key aims of the Partnership is to produce a pilot Wet Tropics Report Card at the end of 2016. This will assess the current health status of all waterways in the Wet Tropics including rivers, estuaries, wetlands and marine areas.
“This is an important tool that will help us monitor the progress we are making to improve waterway and reef health. It is underpinned by serious scientific rigour and will allow us to direct investment and activity in order to get the best possible outcome for the Reef,” he said.
“Many organisations in the region are already collecting water quality data to help them tell a story, whether it is for industry compliance, environmental monitoring or academic research. By working together to pool data we will be able to paint a more vibrant picture of the Wet Tropics waterway health and participating organisations will also have full access to the pooled data, which in turn, enables them to tell their story better,” he said.
All organisations and community groups in the Wet Tropics are invited to become members of the Partnership. Go to www.wettropicswaterways.org.au for more information.