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Coastal ecosystems management – Lower Burdekin Floodplain
Review of coastal ecosystem management to improve the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
© Commonwealth of Australia 2013
Published by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2013
This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (appropriately acknowledging this source) for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organisation. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all other rights are reserved.
The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Australian Government or the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the contents of this publication are factually correct, the Australian Government does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and shall not be liable for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the contents of this publication.
National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry
Coastal ecosystems management – case study: water management/Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
ISBN 978 1 922126 17 7 (ebook)
Coastal zone management--Queensland----Burdekin River Valley.
Coastal zone management--Queensland--Great Barrier Reef.
Floodplains--Queensland--Burdekin River Valley.
Natural resources management areas--Queensland--Great Barrier Reef.
Burdekin River Valley (Qld.)--Management.
Burdekin River Valley (Qld.)--Environmental conditions.
Great Barrier Reef (Qld.)--Management.
Great Barrier Reef (Qld.)--Environmental conditions.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
This publication should be cited as:
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2013 Coastal ecosystems management – case study: water management, GBRMPA, Townsville.
This report was supported through funding from the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
This report is based on a report commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, prepared on 13 June 2013 by Jim Tait, Econcern. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority also acknowledges the contributions of Hugh Yorkston, Donna-marie Audas, Jason Vains, Paul Groves, Carol Marshall, Melissa Evans, Ben Palmer, Rose Dunstan and Sara Dunstan.
Coverphoto: Lower Burdekin floodplain by Jim Tait (2013).
Requests and enquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to:
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
2-68 Flinders Street (PO Box 1379)
Townsville QLD 4810, Australia
Phone: (07) 4750 0700
Fax: (07) 4772 6093
Table of contents
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 7
Context summary 7
Key issues 7
Current management 8
Potential management actions 8
Objectives and purpose of case study 10
COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS OF THE REGION 10
Overview of the basin within the study area 13
History of land use and development 19
Impact on coastal ecosystems 23
Impacts to ecosystem functions 36
Current condition and trend 41
Forecast of likely future activities and impacts on coastal ecosystems 48
LAND-USE MANAGEMENT AND COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS 50
Overlapping roles of government 50
Protecting existing undisturbed coastal ecosystems 52
Reconnection and rehabilitation of disturbed coastal ecosystems 55
Return of coastal ecosystem function to modified landscapes 60
Pumped Flood Flow 64
Hydrological Isolation 64
Uncertainty in assessment and managing risk 65
Adaptive management 65
An important landscape 67
Information Driven Management Mechanisms 68
Improving farm practices 68
Natural resource management 69
Protection of assets 70
Management of threats 71
Restoration of ecosystems and ecosystem function 71
APPENDIX A: Ecological processes of natural coastal ecosystems linked to the health and resilience of the World Heritage Area 79
APPENDIX B: Ecological processes of modified systems linked to the health and resilience of the World Heritage Area. 81