Daintree River Revegetation Project

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joeJoe Reichl, Rainforest Rescue’s Daintree Land Manager talks about a recent river bank revegetation project along the Daintree River.

 Last summer sadly saw the most extensive coral bleaching event in our history across the Great Barrier Reef. Rising water temperatures are certainly a significant part of the problem. However, the weakened coral system has also been impacted by excessive sediment and nutrient run-off from the local rivers and creeks. The result being more trouble for the reef’s resilience and long term viability. So any efforts to reduce run-off on to the reef are welcome.

Rainforest Rescue is proud to have worked with the local Daintree Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation to revegetate one of their sites along the Daintree River. Revegetation of the river’s flood banks is vital for minimising sediment run-off onto the river and downstream to the reef. A cooperative project like this provides us all with a great opportunity to have a positive impact on both the rainforest and reef.

Initially, we wanted to hold a community planting event to revegetate the site. Unfortunately, the site inspection day followed heavy rain, which combined with a high tide, meant the river banks were deluged. Caution was a priority and we felt there were too many issues to have our volunteers on site. With access issues and the very real danger of flooding another approach was needed and Jabalbina Rangers agreed to undertake the work.

 After assessing the area, including using satellite imagery, we identified that the site would require about 500 trees for revegetation of the river banks. We provided 500 trees for reforestation, all grown from seed at our Daintree nursery. BioPac generously funded the trees for the project as part of their support to Rainforest Rescue. In preparation for planting, weed control was carried out in May and the planting was completed in June 2016.

It’s a great result! A section of the flood banks of the Daintree River have been revegetated. We’ve enjoyed working with Jabalbina. Sediment and nutrient run-off will be lessened over time. Both the lowland Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef will be better off.

As a member of the Rainforest Rescue team I’m proud to be associated with this project.

Joe

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