Determining end-point goals and effective strategies for rehabilitation of Coastal Wetlands: examples from the Burdekin River, North Queensland

Burrows, Damien, and Butler, Barry (2007) Determining end-point goals and effective strategies for rehabilitation of Coastal Wetlands: examples from the Burdekin River, North Queensland. In: Proceedings of the 5th Australian Stream Management Conference: Australian Rivers: Making a Difference, pp. 49-54. From: 5th Australian Stream Management Conference: Australian Rivers: Making a Difference, 21-25 May 2007, Albury, NSW.

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Abstract

Rehabilitating coastal floodplain wetlands is the subject of significant government, industry and community investment. Restoring natural function to wetlands in a highly and permanently modified environment may not be realistic. Health and naturalness may be very different end-points for such wetlands, depending on the landscape context, creating the need for more holistic and expansive evaluations of end-point goals. Commonly, we find that the solutions proposed are often based on generic and simplistic views, including the reversal of the perceived root cause of the problem, though this is not always the best course of action. These simplistic views often result in unrealistic expectations and a failure to target the most effective outcomes and means of rehabilitation. This paper discusses three case studies where end-point goals for wetland rehabilitation are quite different from restoration of their pre-European state, and how elevated turbidity and flow regimes, even though unnatural and often thought of in a negative context, are actually maintaining the health of key coastal wetlands by decreasing their vulnerability to other human pressures. In each case, improved scientific understanding of what is the ultimate driving force of wetland health, and what should be the end-point goal, are being used to drive rehabilitation actions and achieve tangible results.

Item ID: 3065
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: wetland rehabilitation; water hyacinth; Burdekin River
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ISBN: 978-0-646-47479-3
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2009 06:03
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 51%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9612 Rehabilitation of Degraded Environments > 961201 Rehabilitation of Degraded Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 49%
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