World Wetlands Day holds special significance for Cairns Airport this year with a fish habitat connectivity project kicking off on airport landholdings. The aim of the project is to alter the Ellie Point road to improve the water flow through the mangrove wetlands, opening up large areas of fish habitat that have been restricted since the road was constructed over 35 years ago.
OzFish Senior Project Manager Dr Geoff Collins said that the Queensland Government’s ‘Walking the Landscape’ workshop identified opportunities for improvement in the Saltwater Creek catchment. “A number of areas in the region were explored and the road from Airport Avenue to Ellie Point was chosen for the project” Dr Collins said.
Funding through the Federal Government’s Fish Habitat Restoration Fund has enabled the project to commence with a grant jointly awarded to OzFish and Terrain Natural Resource Management, with support from Cairns Airport and the Yirrganydji Land and Sea Rangers.
Cairns Airport Chief Executive Richard Barker said he was really excited about the project and the collaborative efforts to improve the mangrove ecosystems around Cairns Airport, which would be beneficial to the whole region.
“With almost 40 per cent of airport land made up of coastal wetlands, this collaboration between OzFish, Terrain NRM, and the Yirrganydji Land and Sea Rangers to improve the health of these waterways is a testament to our community’s shared understanding of the importance of these ecosystems.
“With over 80 percent of fish species found in the Great Barrier Reef spending some part of their life cycle in the mangroves, the long-term health and sustainability of the reef is very much dependent on these wetlands and that’s something that the Airport takes seriously,” Mr Barker said.
A short video on the OzFish Connectivity Project on the Airport Wetlands can be viewed here.