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Healthy Country - The Pumicestone Catchment

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The Pumicestone Catchment

The Pumicestone Passage is a unique 45 km tidal waterway between Bribie Island and the mainland, home to internationally significant Ramsar wetlands, shorebirds and rich in marine life.

The 784 km2 catchment extends from Caloundra in the north to Deception Bay in the south and is largely a ground-water dependent ecosystem.

The passage is home to a large urban population as well forestry plantations, horticulture (including pineapples, strawberries, turf and tree cropping), grazing and chicken farms. It also features protected bushland areas, including national park reserves around the iconic Glass House Mountains and on Bribie Island.

Community and various partners trialed innovative nutrient and sediment reduction initiatives to keep the Passage healthy, promote good practice and innovation across the catchment and improve groundwater dependent ecosystems. These efforts aligned closely with the Pumicestone Passage and Catchment Action Plan 2013-2016.

Extreme weather events during the project brought the need for erosion and sedimentation prevention into sharp focus and further galvanised collective action and thinking.

Initiatives have included:

  • Assisting horse property owners with good land management practices for healthy horses and a sustainable environment.
  • Managing the spread of taro (a fast-growing aquatic weed) found commonly in wetlands.
  • Reducing sediment run-off from unsealed roads.
  • Trialing polymers on pineapples as a way of reducing erosion
  • Restoring a previously degraded pine plantation at Caloundra South (neighbourhood sub-catchment project on Bluegum Creek).
  • Fencing livestock from future a conservation zone that has been regenerated with native plants.

The success of these projects relied heavily on engaging the community early on, sharing information and history between the diverse people living in the catchment and providing educational opportunities.