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Barretts Lagoon – wetland system repair partnership

Coastal wetlands provide habitat for many plants and fauna.  However, many wetlands are under pressure from nutrient, sediments, invasive aquatic plants and fish, changed hydrology and generally experience challenging water quality conditions.  Management is desirable, but is challenging because it is expensive, access is limited and the task in on-going and it works best when all partners participate.

Barretts Lagoon is located on the Tully floodplain, in the wet tropics of northern Queensland.  The lagoon is owned by local farmers and holds important agricultural, community and cultural values, and, like many other coastal waters, its water and habitat quality are important.

Dr Nathan Waltham (TropWATER, James Cook University), funded through the National Environment Science Programme – Tropical Water Quality Hub (Project 3.3.2) recently visited the wetland and met local farmers that have taken a lead in protecting the lagoon by spraying out invasive aquatic plant species with approved best practice methods, and generally ensuring the lagoon is kept clean and looking healthy.

Terrain NRM organised the meeting, which was also attended by Gulnay Traditional Owners, Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, and Cassowary Coast Regional Council, where a broader plan to wetland and connectivity was discussed.  This partnership will meet again early in  2018 to plan out wetland and waterway restoration actions, scientific data needed, data sharing with landholders, and funding opportunities to build on the already great work completed by local farmers in protecting this lagoon system.

For more information, contact Dr Nathan Waltham (

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