Hydrologist Ken Bubb explains WSUD at a Burton Creek tributary, Cooloola Cove
World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally on February 2, since 1997. Unfortunately, often viewed as wasteland, more than 64% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since 1900.
Cooloola Coastcare Projects Coordinator, Maree Prior says Rainbow Beach is no different: “There are some pretty amazing sites, but also rapidly degrading in areas – this is not good for a ‘nature coast’ and ultimately ratepayers will cop the bill to fix – if not in your lifetime, it will be your kids.”
The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2016 is Wetlands for our future: sustainable livelihoods.
Cooloola Cove will pave the way with a stormwater drain as a trial site for Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), thanks to Everyone’s Environment grants and Gympie Regional Council.
“This pilot trial at Cooloola Cove could be applicable all over the coast,” said Maree. “It’s better for the environment in terms of weed spread and water quality, plus it is cheaper to implement and maintain. Why wouldn’t you have them everywhere?”
Cooloola Coast Wetlands host a huge variety of life, protect our coastlines, provide natural defences against river flooding or storm surges and store carbon dioxide to regulate climate change.
There are numerous stormwater drains, tributaries and creeks in the Cooloola Coastal urban areas, and they will continue to degrade if current stormwater management is not addressed.
During the week of World Wetlands Day, (February 1 to 6) Coastcare are organising a community planting day and the start of the WSUD Trial Site groundworks.
Maree is also keen to assist Rainbow Beach residents learn more, “If anyone is interested over there, I would be happy to look at Rainbow Beach wetlands for assessment with interest groups.”
Phone 0417 554 905 or check www.cooloolacoastcare.org.au for details.
Cooloola Coastcare would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support of Gympie Regional Council through integrated and cross-departmental management; the adjacent residents of Cooloola Cove creek Trial Sites 1, 2 and 3 who assist with mowing the lawn areas of the creek reserves and not dumping garden waste; community volunteers who assist with weed removal on a regular basis; Cooloola Bay Bulletin and Rainbow Beach Cooloola Coast Community News for in-kind publication of events and promotion; Cooloola Cove Hall and residents for assistance with workshop events; Conservation Volunteers Australia and Gympie and Hervey Bay Green Armies for on-ground chemical and manual weed removal; Paul and Jilly Tedman for supplying watercraft to Noosa and District Landcare for water weed control; Michael Lowe Environmental Services for on-going assistance; Loggerheads for chainsaw slash pine removal; Ken and Lee Bubb and James and Antonia Croton (WEC) for important local hydrology research.