Coastal wetlands have the ability to help tackle the two biggest threats to the reef:
- climate change via their ability to capture and store carbon,
- as well as protect our coastline from extreme weather events and combat deteriorating water quality by treating agricultural runoff.
Nutrient pollution from land-based runoff is the number one cause of poor water quality in our Reef. The primary source of this runoff is sugarcane farming – it is responsible for 78% of Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (Nitrogen), which affects our waterways, inner and mid-shelf coral reefs and seagrasses.
The Australian and Queensland governments have set specific targets to reduce nitrogen pollution, however, it’s become clear that these targets will not be met from regulations and voluntary land practice change alone.
This is where wetlands come into play, as they can be an effective management strategy in improving water quality. Research shows that 5% wetland restoration of an area can lead to a 20 to 50% reduction in Nitrogen inputs into our coastal zone!
Add your name to send the federal Minister for the Environment an email on why we need to identify coastal wetland restoration as a major initiative in our water quality policies.