Color of the Wash

Colored water from the floods

Yesterday when returning on the ferry from Redland Bay back home to Macleay Island, I saw that the water which is usually pristine blue and aqua was now a muddy brown from the flood waters running to the Bay from the Logan River. The wash from the ferry was quite golden. Redland Bay will soon be living up to its name and turning red….with mud.

Healthy Land and Water, the peak environmental management agency for south-east Queensland, said the massive sediment loss from the river came because no large-scale riverbank revegetation projects were conducted in the decade between the floods. …the longer-term effects on the Port of Brisbane’s silt levels, seagrass beds, dugongs and turtles were being evaluated “There is going to be an impact on seagrass, but we know it will recover.

A research study was done in 2016 by a group of 12 students…..The Mud Rising project was run as part of The Icarus Program which gives undergraduate engineers the opportunity to work on interdisciplinary projects with academic mentors and other students. They found the area of mud in the bay has more than doubled in the past 45 years… That was 2016…. This is 2022. The islands are now mostly mud with only a handful of small sandy beaches.

Researcher James Lockington from UQ’s School of Civil Engineering said the Mud Rising project revealed that mud now covered more than 50 per cent, or 800sq km, of Moreton Bay’s floor. “This compares to 400sq km at the time of the last major survey, in 1970,” he said. “The increase is likely due to the large floods in the past 45 years – including those in 1974 and 2011.

Mr Lockington said historical land clearing increased the amount of mud in the bay. A team of 12 students spent three months surveying 220 sites over an area of more than 1500sq km, in the bay’s most comprehensive sediment survey in 40 years. Mr Lockington said fine sediment had an impact on the seagrass and coral communities. “Fine mud particles entering Moreton Bay results in less sunlight striking the sea floor,” he said. “It can also smother plant and animal communities.

“We hope our findings will support Moreton Bay ecosystem health assessments and guide regional management actions.”

The team is a finalist in the Healthy Waterways Awards 2016 People’s Choice Award.

Sandy Beach at Karaggara Island

Every day you read about another research or survey. I wonder why something is not done as a result of these comprehensive surveys. This survey was 6 years ago and the problems identified are still here and not addressed. The South Moreton Bay Islands are very beautiful and the home to a rapidly increasing population, and soon could be renamed The Mud Islands as that is what is happening. Time to clean the bay and value and preserve the Maritime Park instead of simply exploiting its rich resources and ignoring the damage being done to the environment.

Southern Moreton Bay Islands is a national park in Queensland, Australia, 44 km southeast of Brisbane. It forms part of the Moreton Bay and Pumicestone Passage Important Bird Area, so identified by BirdLife International because it supports large numbers of migratory waders, or shorebirds

Published by Ladymaggic

Artist, Traveller, Researcher and Writer, currently living on Macleay Island., where I photograph and share experiences and events around the Islands and Island Life until I am able to travel again. Travel photos and videos about many places in Australia​ and the world

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