Reef Trust III, Grazing Lands in the Mary Catchment
The MRCCC Reef Trust Program works with grazing landholders to adopt grazing land management practices that achieve Reef Trust outcomes in terms of nutrient and sediment losses to the reef. The project team will provide graziers with extension support, technical advice, training and financial incentives to implement eligible on-ground projects using best land management practices.
A key component of the new Reef Trust #3 Program is the use of the Grazing BMP self-assessment tool to allow graziers to benchmark their own grazing practices against Beef Industry standards. Interested graziers will first need to register for the Grazing BMP component. This can be completed on-line or at a local workshop.
The Reef Trust #3 Program will focus on the Mary Valley sub-catchments, the Widgee, Glastonbury and Wide Bay Creek sub-catchments, and southwards including the Upper Mary sub-catchment of the Kenilworth and Conondale districts. Click on the link for a map of the priority areas. The Mary River is the southern-most of these reef catchments, with the grazing sector being the largest single land manager ie about 70% of the catchment area.
Improved grazing land condition leads to greater pasture productivity, improved resilience to climate extremes and enterprise profitability, by reducing the loss of valuable sediments and nutrients from our grazing lands. Wetland systems such as riparian zones, billabongs, marshes etc will be a particular focus due to their key function of filtering out nutrients and sediments from the grazing landscape, before they reach the river systems.
Click on the link to see examples of projects and to download an Expression of Interest form EOI 2016-2017 or contact the MRCCC to be mailed a copy.
Reef Trust Gully Erosion Control Program in the Mary River Catchment
This project involves gully management in highly erodible sub-catchments of the Mary River Catchment, predominantly in the Western Mary Catchment grazing lands. This includes the districts of Kilkivan, Kinbombi, Woolooga, Widgee, Glastonbury, Brooweena, Boompa, Aramara, Miva, Mungar, Yengarie etc.
The objective of the project is a long term reduction in sediment and nutrient runoff from highly erodible gullies in grazing lands. On ground projects will focus on both hillslope and alluvial gullies on fragile duplex soils. These soils have a known high erosion risk and currently export significant fine sediments to the Great Barrier Reef. The Western Mary Catchment Grazing Land Type booklet identifies these high risk soil types in each Landscape Unit.
Examples of eligible on-ground gully control projects could include;
Fencing to protect all gully stabilisation works, to remediate early stages of gully formation, to manage cattle access to drainage lines with a high risk of gully formation.
Stock watering points: installing tanks and troughs to provide alternate water supply to drainage lines, positioning tanks and troughs high in the landscape away from drainage lines to reduce nutrient losses from the property.
Stabilisation methods such as building leaky weirs etc to trap sediments and stabilise the lowering of the gully floor, revegetation and direct seeding of stoloniferous grasses and lomandra to trap the fine silts and nutrients and hard-walling gully heads to check gully advancement up the slope.
Click on the link to download an Expression of Interest form for the project.
The MRCCC currently coordinates 8 Community Waterwatch networks involving 73 volunteers who monitor water quality at over 119 sites on waterways throughout the Mary River Catchment every month. Using field equipment provided by the MRCCC, volunteers monitor temperature, electrical conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen and turbidity. Volunteers also collect information on weather conditions, fauna sightings, aquatic weeds and pests.
Data from the networks is entered onto a regional database, providing a baseline to observe trends and anomalies in water quality. Water quality reports are produced annually for each network, providing a water quality rating for each site. Some volunteers have now been collecting data for over 10 years. Waterwatch Reports can be downloaded from the Waterwatch page on this website. Click on the link to download a copy of the 2014 Whole of Catchment Waterwatch Data summary report.
Living with Threatened Species
Over the warmer months, the MRCCC’s Living with Threatened Species project with Eva Ford at the helm will be surveying creeks in the Mary Catchment for rare frog species including the Giant Barred Frog, Cascade Tree Frog and the Tusked Frog. The presence (or not) of frogs in riparian areas provides an indication of the quality of stream habitat, enabling on-ground works to be targeted and threatened species habitat to be protected and conserved. To participate in frog surveys, contact the MRCCC. Download frog and fauna records for 2009-2010 by clicking on the links. (Please note these are A3 size files).
Mary River Threatened Species Recovery Plan
A draft recovery plan for the Mary Catchment’s threatened aquatic species is being developed by the MRCCC in collaboration with the Federal Government and the Threatened Species Recovery team. The plan sets out a suite of actions needed to ensure the survival the Mary’s most endangered and vulnerable aquatic species.
The Shakin it for the Dugong competition generated interest in the plan throughout the region, resulting in over 10,000 hits on YouTube. Follow the links to access the Dugong Rock musical track, (2.74mb download) and lyrics.
Click here for the Findings of the community survey for the Mary River Threatened Species Recovery Plan
Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Conservation Network
Eva has also been working with the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Conservation Network with the aim of restoring Birdwing habitat throughout the Mary. The former range of the butterfly included a colony at River Heads, right at the mouth of the Mary River. Enemies to the butterfly include weeds such as Madeira Vine and Dutchman’s Pipe, which out-compete the native Pararistolochia, one of the Birdwing’s principal food sources. If you are interested in planting Birdwing feed vines on your land, contact Eva at the MRCCC Resource Centre.
The MRCCC Resource Centre is located at 25 Stewart Terrace, Gympie. The public are welcome to call in for information on a wide range of natural resource management issues. The Resource Centre is open from Monday to Friday, from 9 am until 4 pm.
The MRCCC has established a Public Fund to encourage tax deductible donations, to support the work of the organisation. Donations can be deposited directly to the fund. Click here for details.
For more information about these or other MRCCC projects, please call the MRCCC Resource Centre in 07 5482 4766, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on GRC MRCCC presentation Dec 2015 to download a Powerpoint Presentation on the project work of the MRCCC.