Fine sediment flowing from eroding land onto the Great Barrier Reef smothers coral and fishes, creates algal blooms and weakens the Reef’s ability to recover from the impacts of climate change, like coral bleaching.
Ninety percent of the fine clay particles that end up in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon come from the land, predominantly from eroding gullies and stream banks. Some water catchments are a higher priority for reducing sediment pollutants than others. The Burdekin River catchment, for example, is estimated to deliver almost 50% of all sediment pollutants that reach the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
With support from government, philanthropists and businesses, Greening Australia is trialling and evaluating different gully restoration techniques, building on existing research and initiatives.
More than 18 hectares of gullies have now been remediated on our flagship demonstration site – Strathalbyn Station in the Burdekin catchment – making it the largest gully remediation program in Queensland to date. We’ve found that restoring gullies can reduce sediment run-off to the Great Barrier Reef by up to 98% in less than three years.