Restoring Daintree wetlands

NEW FUNDING FOR THE LOWER DAINTREE RIVER AREA

27 JUNE 2024

Flood-damaged riverbank upstream from the Daintree River ferry crossing will be repaired and nearby wetlands restored in a new $1.98 million project.

Terrain NRM has received funding from the Australian Government through its Reef Coastal Restoration Program to rehabilitate areas close to the ferry crossing in the Lower Daintree wetlands precinct, working with Douglas Shire Council, landholders and Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation.

Repairing flood-damged riverbank

“We’ll be repairing around 100 metres of eroding riverbank and restoring mangrove habitat,” Terrain NRM’s Charles Hammond said. “The erosion here, on the Daintree River, has been steadily getting worse, especially with floods like the one after Cyclone Jasper.

“Remediation work will include a mix of hard and soft engineering, and replanting mangroves and other vegetation.

“Within the Lower Daintree area, we will also be working with landholders and traditional owners to improve the condition of nearby wetlands. This is an important wetland area for the health of the Daintree River because it’s a settling area for sediment, nutrients and other loads in runoff. It’s also a fish nursery and home to more than 70 species of birds as well as flying foxes, estuarine crocodiles and other animals.”

Improving wetland connectivity

The project aims to improve wetland connectivity and the coastal ecosystem including the fish nursery habitat.

Community consultation for ecosystem rehabilitation plan

In addition, an aquatic ecosystem rehabilitation plan will be developed, working with the community, to identify rehabilitation priorities for the wetlands in the Lower Daintree area.

“We will be working on ways to improve hydrology and connectivity and to reduce fish barriers and invasive species,’’ Charles said.

The ‘Daintree Wetlands: Reef Coastal Restoration in the Lower Daintree’ project is part of a new $28.5 million investment through the Australian Government’s Reef Trust to restore coastal habitats and prevent sediment runoff to the Great Barrier Reef.

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