The University of Queensland is helping to establish a foundation aimed at preserving Moreton Bay’s unique biodiversity, cultural heritage and aesthetic beauty.
The Moreton Bay Foundation will be launched tomorrow by the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland.
The Foundation aims to provide quality evidence-based research, scientific consultation, and to connect researchers, community members and government representatives.
Associate Professor Ian Tibbetts from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences said the Moreton Bay catchment - stretching from Caloundra to the Gold Coast - was at a crucial intersection of commerce and ecology.
“Moreton Bay needs a mechanism for bringing together expertise and knowledge across institutions and agencies now more than ever,” Dr Tibbetts said.
“The Foundation does just that, being developed from a forum held at UQ in 2016.
“UQ had been working closely with the Goodman Family Foundation to hold a meeting of Moreton Bay-oriented researchers, non-government organisations and managers, repeating a similar meeting held 20 years before.
“It quickly became obvious to attendees that we mustn’t wait another 20 years for the next meeting, given pressures from the rapidly increasing human population, climate change and sea-level rise affecting the region.”
Foundation chairman Rob Siganto said the organisation would be focused on building collaborative partnerships.
“We’ll be linking together researchers, community members, traditional custodians and government representatives,” Mr Siganto said.
“Collectively, we can develop a master plan to actively preserve this delicate ecosystem and international treasure as a pristine natural resource for generations to come.
“This is critically important - Moreton Bay and its catchment areas are some of Queensland's most important coastal resources and underpin tourism, amateur and professional fisheries, and island and coastal development.”
The Moreton Bay Foundation will aim to address an increasing number of natural and man-made hazards threatening the health of the Bay area.
“We’re seeing an elevated amount of mud and sediment flowing into the Bay, from the Brisbane River system largely due to seasonal floods and storms, which decreases the water quality,” Mr Siganto said.
“Industrial and residential expansion in South East Queensland is causing a significant loss of natural habitats for the many species of animals, birds, and marine life that call Moreton Bay home.
“The Moreton Bay Foundation is in a unique position to connect local knowledge with evidence-based scientific research to assist community groups, government, universities and businesses make informed decisions that will shape sustainable solutions for the Bay and its communities.”
The Foundation’s initial Community Consultation will be held tomorrow at Brisbane City Hall; free tickets are available on The Moreton Bay Foundation website.
The Foundation’s founding partners include UQ, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University and the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation.