Working with Traditional Owners to monitor mangrove health

Working with Tropical Water Quality Hub researchers, Bundaberg-based indigenous ranger group Gidarjil Development Corporation has built its capacity to monitor and manage the health of mangrove ecosystems within the Port Curtis Coral Coast’s Traditional Use of Marine Resources Agreement (TUMRA) area, surveying hundreds of kilometres of coastline in the process. Project leaders Dr Norm Duke and Jock Mackenzie from James Cook University’s TropWATER facility worked with Gidarjil and the wider community to train rangers in the estuarine field survey methods used by the MangroveWatch community partnership, including the Shoreline Video Assessment Method (S-VAM). These methods help determine the health status of estuarine mangrove forests, a major factor affecting the quality of water flowing out to the Great Barrier Reef. Rangers surveyed eight estuarine river systems, recording the health of mangroves along more than 375 kilometres of shoreline in total.