Burnett Mary

Located in SE Queensland, the Burnett Mary region is a place of amazing biodiversity.

With the Great Barrier Reef extending to its northern boundaries, it also includes the World Heritage listed Fraser Island National Park, the Great Sandy Strait Marine Park & RAMSAR wetland, Great Sandy National Park, the Burnett River, Mary River and numerous other river systems. It is home to many rare and endangered species as well as being a significant mangrove habitat.

Field Survey

Burnett Mary field survey

Field survey of mangrove forest in Burnett Mary region.

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Burnett Mary

What is MangroveWatch BMR?

MangroveWatch BMR is a community supported initiative helping environmental enthusiasts to monitor the health of estuarine mangroves and salt marshes of tidal wetlands in the Burnett Mary Natural Resource Management region of SE Queensland. This program was made possible by a Community Coastcare grant from the Australian Government to The University of Queensland. The one-year program is a pilot from which we have established effective strategies and methods, as well as, gauged the strong support and enthusiasm amongst community volunteers.

Map of Burnett Mary region in SE Queensland

Mangrove Watch Riverkeeper meeting in Burnett Mary region.

With the ready guidance of science specialists at the hub, volunteers from across the region have eagerly taken up the ambitious task of monitoring the health and condition of mangroves in their patch. Most were already aware of how mangroves are the friend of fishers, providing habitat and food for valuable stocks of fish, shellfish and crustaceans in estuaries and along the coast. A smaller number were aware also of mangroves as coastal kidneys, where the habitat buffers and absorbs excess coastal sediments, nutrients and pesticides from turbulent runoff and storms – further allowing seagrass and coral reefs to survive and flourish close to our coast. But, few had heard about mangroves acting as coastal canaries, where their condition provides end of catchment indicators of land use change and other impacts upstream. In this way, the condition of local mangroves and tidal wetlands, in the role of keystone habitat, shows us the likely status of both upland (upstream) and offshore (downstream) coastal ecosystems.

Our MangroveWatch program has set about achieving a number of specific objectives which include: increasing awareness and knowledge amongst community members of mangrove and salt marsh tidal wetlands helping raise local knowledge of the many benefits of mangroves; providing correct information; to dispel misunderstandings about mangroves and tidal wetlands; guiding/training participants on how to monitor change in mangroves and river health; encouraging enthusiasts to participate in field assessments of estuarine/coastal condition by joining, or starting, a river keeper team; fostering direct communication between community enthusiasts and science experts; and, with training from these specialists, showing how community members can contribute to a much wider assessment of tidal wetland health.

Community Volunteers

A key feature of MangroveWatch is its close partnership between community volunteers and scientists from the James Cook University’s Mangrove Hub. Together they are systematically recording basic data as video and still imagery for assessments of estuarine habitat health.

Armed with expert support, training and advice, MangroveWatch volunteers in key regions are actively contributing to the monitoring of local estuaries and shorelines. An important goal in this phase of the program is to develop a network of like minded groups with the aim of producing public documents that describe important issues affecting local estuaries and mangroves, and their overall health.

Getting Involved

If you would like to find out more about us or if you like to initiate your own MangroveWatch group within your area, please contact someone at the Mangrove Hub. We will be happy to help.

  • Mangrove Hub Facilitator
  • Dr Norm Duke
  • MangroveWatch Ltd
    ABN: 44 153 297 771
  • PO Box 1250,
  • Elanora Q 4221
  • Mangrove Hub Email

Mangrove Watch Brochure

You can download our fact and information sheet (see link below) to get more information about the MangroveWatch programs.

Mangrove Watch Brochure