Volunteers wanted to help monitor mangroves

IF YOU love fishing and are interested in the marine environment, a group of marine scientists wants your help - but be warned that you will get muddy.

Intensive mangrove monitoring is about to begin in Gladstone Harbour to assess the health of the fish habitat as part of the Port Curtis-Port Alma Coastal Habitat Archive and Monitoring Program.

Tomorrow scientists from James Cook University's TropWATER Centre and traditional owner rangers from Gidarjil Development Corporation will begin 10 days of shoreline environmental monitoring that includes tidal saltmarsh and need your help with mangrove field surveys.

The surveys will be done next week between Monday, August 31, and Thursday, September 3.

The monitoring work forms part of Gladstone Ports Corporation's Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Program .

The CHAMP project will incorporate Sea Country ranger knowledge, understanding and passion for the importance and beauty of the valuable coastal zone, with that of expert JCU mangrove scientists.

The plan is to report back to the community with annual reports and relevant observations.

Project leader Dr Norman Duke said interested people could get involved in the six-year program that would help protect the critical natural coastal resources of the Gladstone region.

"This is a chance for interested locals to get involved, to learn about the health of their tidal wetlands, and to help gather valuable scientific data about one of our most undervalued natural ecosystems: mangroves," he said.

To get involved in the project contact Richard or Arthur at Gidarjil Development Corporation on 4972 1881, or mangrovewatch@gmail.com.