Kenilworth riverbank landowners and stakeholders heard a vital update on 'The Mary River Recovery Project' last Thursday, and its contributions over the last 12-months to reaching reef sediment targets.
From July 2020 to June 2024, a four-year consortium project between Burnett Mary Regional Group, Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee (MRCCC) and Alluvium Consulting will see a reduction of 26,000 tonnes of end-of-catchment pollutant from entering the Mary catchment.
Consulting has already achieved a reduction of 2154 tonnes in 2020, with several exciting milestones announced at the field day.
The project is supporting local Kenilworth landowners, Elke and Peter Watson, by repairing damaged riverbanks and infrastructure, following the 2011 floods. The project aims to reduce 26,000 tonnes of sediment to the reef.
As identified in the 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP), the Mary catchment is one of the top five highest contributors to segment pollution to the Greater Barrier Reef and the project is set to dramatically reduce the fine sediment pollutant load contributed by the Mary River during flood events.
BMRG operations manager, Peter Kafka said the Field Day was an opportunity to hear a full progress update, along with future opportunities.
"The one-year milestone provided a chance to view the sites firsthand, revisit before and after photos, hear an update from key project members and look at future opportunities for water quality improvements and riverbank erosion management," Mr Kafka said.
Guided by the Investment Strategy for the Mary River (2020), the project priority areas include a combination of works, including large-scale restoration of riverbank erosion areas, revegetation in river reaches to stabilise streambanks working in partnership with local landholders, and other partners such as Seqwater and councils.
Mary River catchment coordinating committee spokesperson Brad Wedlock said the project is an exciting development for the catchment, reef and local landholders who will gain significant long-term benefits.
"The first site rehabilitated through this project in 2020 located on the Mary River near Conondale, endured immense damage to bare riverbanks, lost property infrastructure and washed thousands of tonnes of sediment into the reef, from the 2011 and 2013 floods," Mr Wedlock said.
"However, the scale and expense of the project was too large for the landholders to repair alone - despite their own remediation efforts.
"This was a leading factor in the forming of the Mary River Recovery consortium to create cost effective and resilient projects for landholders that have endured significant riverbank erosion issues, while dramatically improving water quality in the Mary catchment."
An additional update on the Mary River Project will be held in January 2022.
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