In the Wet Tropics, we can’t meet our Reef 2050 water quality improvement targets with a ‘business-as-usual’ approach.
That's why landholders are leading the way in trialing new, and retrofitted treatment technologies on their farms, to reduce nutrients, sediments and pesticides flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.
The project is working with landholders to install and monitor the effectiveness of different treatment systems. These include denitrification bioreactors, wetlands, high efficiency sediment basins and riparian buffer zones.
Up until now, most water monitoring results have been aggregated from a large area with lots of different users and uses. This makes it hard for farmers to know what their relative contribution is.
Extra water monitoring efforts are now adding to a bank of information about how, when and where nutrients, sediments and pesticides are moving.
The project is responding to community demand for relevant and timely water quality information, and is installing and delivering water quality monitoring at 30 new sites.
Regional communities rely on a productive and profitable agricultural industry. It is the lifeblood of the region, but agriculture is increasingly under the spotlight for its impacts on water quality and reef health.
More than ever before, farmers are wanting to make informed decisions about their farm practices.
Investment in extension staff, technical support for landholders, and learning and education opportunities are assisting farmers to accelerate and build on many practice changes that are already happening in the region.
There has been a growing demand for a market mechanism to incentivise water quality improvements. Born out of the Wet and Dry Tropics MIPs, the ‘Reef Credit’ Scheme is a new way to invest in the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
It is a way of valuing ecosystem services that create public benefit, and ensuring the person creating that benefit is not reducing their profitability.
The Reef Credit is a tradeable unit representing a quantifiable amount of nutrient, pesticide or sediment that has been prevented from entering the GBR catchment.
Telling the story
There is so much happening on the ground in reef water quality action, a lot often goes unrecognised. We're focused on valuing everyone's contributions.
This project is part of a bigger picture story of change, and we're working to make sure landholder and community stories are heard.