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Media Release

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for the Environment


22 July 1998

Research to enable the identification of processes threatening seagrasses in the Whitsunday region is one of 14 projects in the State to receive Natural Heritage Trust coastal funding of $1.1 million.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Townsville based Senator, Ian Macdonald says the projects will protect our marine creatures and help prevent pollution entering our coastal waters.

Senator Macdonald says outcomes of the project will feed into management plans, habitat protection strategies and public education programs in the Whitsunday region.

"This $200,668 project by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage assesses the threatening processes by mapping seagrass meadows, establishing key monitoring sites and training local community groups to monitor seagrass change.

"Similar marine life projects will be conducted at Woongarra Marine Park, where locals will be trained in monitoring threatened turtle habitats, and at Michaelmas Cay, where the impacts of tourism on seabirds will be examined."

Senator Macdonald says other projects reflect the importance that local communities place on protecting our marine and coastal waters.

"The end result of all of these projects will be cleaner beaches and a healthier environment for our marine wildlife."

The Natural Heritage Trust's Coasts and Clean Seas initiative will provide $125 million over five years to support the conservation, repair and sustainable use of Australia's coastal and marine environment.

Information on how to apply for funding from the Natural Heritage Trust is available by telephoning Environment Australia's Community Information Unit on freecall 1800 803 772.

Wednesday, 22 July 1998

Phil Connole (Senator Macdonald's Office) 07 4771 3066
Conall O'Connell (Environment Australia) 02 6274 1403

Commonwealth of Australia