Wetland evaluation helps Indigenous business outcomes

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In 2012, in an effort to combat invasive plant species on wetlands on their Country near Ingham, Mungalla Aboriginal Corporation, owned by the Nywaigi Traditional Owners, removed an earthen bund wall isolating 230 hectares of wetland from saline tidal water. The effectiveness of their action was evaluated years later by Dr Nathan Waltham for a NESP Tropical Water Quality Hub project, and his findings – that the re-introduction of natural saline water to the wetland had drastically reduced the level of invasive plants and restored a healthy level of fish stocks to a previously ‘dead’ wetland ecosystem – are now being used by Mungalla Aboriginal Corporation in their tourism business, Mungalla Aboriginal Tours. “We do tours through this area and we can show customers how an area like this can be brought back to its natural state,” said Mungalla Aboriginal Corporation director Jacob Cassady. “Everything that comes out of the biodiversity and wetland research about the plant and fish species we explain to the tourists. We also get people involved in the revegetation project, taking them through the whole tour and then at the end of it they actually plant a tree.”