Coastal areas and the Great Barrier Reef have a close relationship – what happens on land can have a big impact on the health of the Reef itself.
Coastal ecosystems literally link the land and the sea. Many of the species that form part of the World Heritage Area’s amazing biodiversity move between these complex and sensitive ecosystems – such as estuaries, freshwater wetlands, coastlines, and forested floodplains - to feed and breed throughout their life cycles
Coastal ecosystems also link vastly different environments such as marine, estuarine, freshwater and terrestrial areas.
In some cases, the development of coastal areas has led to a serious decline in the extent and condition of key coastal habitats.
The Informing the Outlook for Great Barrier Reef coastal ecosystems report details the role of coastal ecosystems, their current extent and the pressures they face.
Vulnerability assessments have also been developed for at-risk coastal ecosystems to identify priority areas and ways to reduce threats.
Management of coastal ecosystems
The Queensland Government and local councils have the primary responsibility for land and water management practices adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority works closely with agencies at all levels of government and key stakeholders to influence activities in a way that will support the long-term health and resilience of the Reef.
There are many actions taking place to protect areas identified as matters of national significance and high ecological significance and to help restore their function:
- Caring for our Country supports communities, farmers and other land managers with funding to protect Australia's natural environment and sustainability.
- The goal of the joint Australian and Queensland governments’ Reef Water Quality Protection Plan is to ensure that by 2020 the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef has no detrimental impact on its health and resilience.
- The Clean Energy Future initiative includes support for planning across a regional landscape.
- The Biodiversity Fund provides land managers with funds to expand native habitat on their property; to protect, manage and enhance native vegetation in high conservation areas, and to control invasive pests and weeds.
- The Queensland Wetlands program, established by the Australian and Queensland governments, aims to better protect and manage wetlands throughout the state.
- Fisheries Queensland is also developing inventories of in-stream structures which are affecting wetlands of international importance and declared fish habitat areas, with action plans to reduce barriers.
- Some coastal areas are protected within national parks, conservation parks and state forests.
- GBRMPA works with local governments through our Reef Guardian Councils to effectively manage Great Barrier Reef coastal ecosystems.
If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.
The Great Barrier Reef is a hive of activity. If you're lucky enough to see a humpback whale from May to September, make sure you keep a safe distance.
We're delighted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park's World Heritage listing.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing plants, animals and habitats. There are a range of tourism experiences on offer.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this Great Australian icon.
If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL
(1300 264 625)
A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.
Current Conditions: Environmental and climatic forecasts for the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrie Reef is facing some challenges. Many people, including Reef Guardians, are making a difference. View the commercial.
Reef Guardian graziers are helping to protect the Great Barrier reef through better farming practices.Watch the commercial.
Reef Guardian farmers are undertaking on-farm practices that are helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Watch the commercial.
Reef Guardian farmers are forward-thinking producers who are doing their bit for the Reef. Watch the commercial.
Reef Guardian fishers are fishing sustainably for the health of the Reef and their fishery. Watch the commercial.
Coral Collectors hand pick corals from various locations to minimise impact and help The Great Barrier Reef. Watch the commercial.
Reef Guardian councils across the Great Barrier Reef catchment are demonstrating Reef protection and management. Watch the commercial.
Reef Guardian schools across Queensland are taking positive action for the environment. Watch the commercial.