Small wetlands make for big gains

A Mossman landholder plans on keeping sediment and nutrients on his property during the next wet wet season with help from a number of partners. Not only has he constructed a wetland on his property, he also seeks to link important habitat corridors from the hills to the coast. 

Peter Tibaldi has a 0.7ha block at the base of his property adjacent to an existing drain network. Neighbouring properties on Carsons Creek, which flows into the Mossman River, had previously constructed small wetlands. Peter’s wetland, with those of his neighbours, will increase the overall detention time of water in the creek system which will certainly improve water quality flowing into lower catchments and eventually the Reef.

The wetland was specifically designed to ensure that Peter could utilise his own machinery to carry out maintenance and remove and reuse the captured sediment.

Revegetating the wetland will improve water quality, provide habitat for native plants and animals and help to re-establish a vegetated corridor to link the hillside with the coastal fringe.

Losing good quality agricultural land to construct large wetlands and sediment traps is often cost prohibitive to many primary producers. The Carsons Creek system is now proving to be a good example of how a series of small initiatives can function together to get a real outcome.

To fund the wetland, over $22,000 was put together from DEEDI’s Queensland Wetlands Program, The Douglas Water Quality Improvement Plan, the Australian Government’s Reef Rescue program, and Cairns Regional Council. Terrain’s Mossman/Daintree Catchment Coordinator Steve Bailey, has coordinated the project by sourcing funding, designing the wetland, seeking project partners to assist with ongound works and carrying out much of the maintenance. Native trees and revegetation expertise has been provided by the Mossman branch of the Cairns Regional Council Natural Areas Unit.

Terrain - wetland pond sml