Healthy Land and Water 2018: A year in review

2018 HAS been a momentous 12 months for Healthy Land and Water; a year filled with success and progress as we continue our mission to improve and protect South East Queensland’s environment.

As we enjoy a much-needed break over the holiday season, here’s a highlight reel of our major milestones in 2018. Scroll through to see what made 2018 so special!

February – Healthy Land and Water signed a $1.4m deal with the state government to improve the resilience of the Lockyer and Bremer catchments.  The funding allows us to rehabilitate, revegetate and install flow-reduction devices in eroded waterways, ultimately reducing the amount of mud entering Moreton Bay.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham and Healthy Land and Water CEO Julie McLellan

March – Attendees at the 2018 World Science Festival Brisbane got a close-up look at SEQ’s unique ecosystem through our Feathers, Furs and Fins: The Nature of SEQ exhibit. The sensory journey through SEQ’s landscapes, waterways and wildlife was an incredible hit with children and parents alike.

March – We helped launch a community-led project on the Sunshine Coast to establish a new habitat for native frogs. The pond, situated in the 700-hectare Aura Conservation Zone, provides a crucial breeding ground for many different species of frogs including the endangered wallum sedge frog.

April – Our team of experts and project funder Seqwater were hard at work rolling out the second phase of the Riparian Weed Control Program. The project is designed to tackle the notorious Cat’s Claw Creeper weed which has infiltrated many of SEQ’s catchments. Watch the video to see how we’re tackling it.

May – We showcased our ongoing work to restore pink underwing moth habitat at Cahills Scrub Reserve on the Sunshine Coast. The project, in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council and a community volunteer group, aims to create an ideal breeding ground for the incredibly rare species.

July – We celebrated and recognised SEQ’s finest environment champions at the 2018 Healthy Land and Water Awards Gala Dinner at Brisbane City Hall.  Almost 350 guests came together beneath the glamorous dome of City Hall to honour those working hard to improve and protect SEQ’s environment. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for making SEQ a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live.

August – We launched The Wild Macadamia Hunt, which encourages Brisbane residents to hunt down wild macadamia trees in backyards or local reserves. Data obtained through the program will inform future conservation efforts of the nut. Hurry, the hunt ends in January!

August – We completed an important project to restore Brisbane’s historic Teneriffe Park and prevent mud flowing into the Brisbane River. Watch the video to find out how we made one of Brisbane’s most popular neighbourhood parks safer and greener with the help of Brisbane City Council, the Australian Government and Teneriffe Bushcare volunteers.

September – We launched a new $25,000 initiative to remove litter and other debris from the Caboolture River. Our Clean Up Crew will patrol a 21-kilometre section of the river and collect data on where the litter is being found so we can better identify how to prevent litter in future.

Inaugural Land for Wildlife member Dick Tumman

October – We unveiled a new project in partnership with Seqwater and the state government to improve water quality in the Mid-Brisbane River. About $1m will be spent over three years on several projects to ensure gullies and riverbanks are resilient to floodwaters and to reduce erosion and the flow of mud into the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay.

October – SEQ’s iconic Land for Wildlife program celebrated its 20th anniversary. Since 1998, the voluntary program has encouraged and helped landholders to create and maintain wildlife habitats in their own backyards. Healthy Land and Water has coordinated the SEQ Land for Wildlife program since 2004 and it’s now SEQ’s most successful conservation program boasting more than 4400 properties and over 7000 members.

November – We launched the 2018 Healthy Land and Water Report Card, which provides a scientific assessment of the health of all of SEQ’s waterways. The report found the condition of catchments draining into Moreton Bay had declined, heaping more pressure (and mud) on our precious bay. Our science team, led by Professor Rod Connolly, said community apathy was slowly killing Moreton Bay.

December – We launched the second phase of a vital project to restore shellfish communities in the Pumicestone Passage. A second fleet of artificial reef structures was installed near Kakadu Beach at Bribie Island, close to where the first installations occurred in late 2017. The project hopes to revive shellfish populations, increase fish stocks and improve water quality in Moreton Bay.

Make sure you join us in 2019 as we continue our work to improve and protect South East Queensland. For regular updates, sign up to Healthy Land and Water’s free monthly newsletter by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

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