Wetlands of the Townsville area

Lukacs, G. (1996) Wetlands of the Townsville area. Report. James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Lakes, swamps, marshes, ponded pastures and water storage dams; estuaries, rivers, streams and springs; intertidal sand flats, mud flats and mangroves, and shallow marine areas such as seagrass beds or fringing coral reefs - can all be regarded as "wetlands". They sustain commercial and recreational fisheries, provide flood mitigation, groundwater recharge, water supply for domestic, industrial and agricultural use, and through their natural habitat values, support a variety of wildlife. However, they have also been degraded through human modification (e.g. drained, filled-in, impounded) and catchment activities (e.g. pollution).

This paradox is being addressed through a renewed commitment by the community, industry and governments to better manage these vital natural resources, such that their use is "wise" and sustainable. For example, "Waterwatch" community groups are being established throughout Australia to monitor local water quality, eco-tourism has become a major industry (e.g. the Kakadu wetlands), and both state and federal governments are developing strategies to ensure the sustainable use of wetlands. In Queensland, the government has recently released a Proposed Strategy for the Conservation and Management of Queensland's Wetlands (QDoE 1996) that will commit the state to a strategy which will: i) avoid the further loss or degradation of natural wetlands, including the biological diversity and abundance of wetland-dependent wildlife, unless overriding public interest, including necessary vector control, can be shown; ii) ensure wetland management, including appropriate wetland creation, is undertaken within the context of Integrated Catchment Management, and that use of wetlands and their products by industry and the community is ecologically sustainable; iii) develop the community awareness and appreciation of the values and benefits of wetlands, and encourage individuals to take personal responsibility for avoiding associated health risks from vectors with an aquatic stage in their lifecycle.

Together with such "wise use" policies, the efforts of local government will be crucial for improved wetland management. Through the facilitation of community initiatives and the development and implementation of regional wetland strategies which are consistent with those of natural resource management and conservation agencies, the sustainable use and conservation of wetlands will become achievable.

Item ID: 36065
Item Type: Report (Report)
Additional Information:

Final Report to the Townsville City Council. ACTFR Report 96/28

Funders: Townsville City Council
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2016 02:13
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960604 Environmental Management Systems @ 100%
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