Mangrove Watch Groups
The number of ‘watch’ programs demonstrate the enthusiasm and competence of community volunteers for monitoring seagrass, corals, wetlands and coasts. Unfortunately, this community enthusiasm has, until recently, been impeded for mangroves by the lack of an effective monitoring methodology.
Lessons of past programs show that people quickly become disheartened with pointless sampling of no value to scientists or managers. People also need effective feedback on results that directly relate to their efforts. For tidal wetlands, there has been no suitable assessment methodology that managers can readily use. So these valuable wetland ecosystems have largely been neglected by managing agencies and monitoring programs - a factor that arguably may have contributed to some declines.
However, MangroveWatch is rectifying the situation. Since its launch in May 2009, enthusiastic volunteers are joining this new Community Coastcare initiative implemented by the University of Queensland in the Burnett-Mary Natural Resource Management (NRM) Region. The region extends from Eurimbula Creek in the north to Tin Can Bay in the including Hervey Bay, Fraser Island and the Great Sandy Straits.