25 August 2021
Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership
If you’ve ever visited the Mackay, Whitsunday, or Isaac regions of Queensland, then you’d know the natural beauty of the waterways is a huge attraction to both tourists and locals alike.
Anyone who likes fishing, boating, swimming, or just getting out and about knows that our region is bursting with beautiful waterways, and it is important for current and future generations that our waterways thrive.
That’s where working together comes in. Water is not only a resource, but a life-giver. And healthy waterways are vital to keeping our environment safe.
The Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership oversees a collaborative effort to understand the waterways and what needs to be done to keep them healthy. It also provides scientific information, acts as an advocate, and develops community education to assist in improving and maintaining the environmental, social and economic values of the regions.
Bonny Stutsel, an environmental scientist with a PhD in Geographical Science, has recently started working for the Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership where she oversees the implementation of projects, reports, communications, governance, and technical support.
‘The part I really love about this job and coming into work every day is that people are collectively working together on a problem. We are an organisation of 31 local groups all the way from ports, traditional owners, farmers, fishers - all working towards improving water quality in the region.’
Water is a finite resource, and deserves to be treated with care and respect; especially when considering the proximity of the Great Barrier Reef. But it’s not an issue that is solely environmental. Ensuring the health of waterways is also measured by social, economic, and cultural context, which is why the Partnership is a collaboration, bringing with it a diverse range of ideas and solutions.
‘We’ve got a lot of different skill sets, a lot of different viewpoints, and a lot of different ideas feeding in to solving the issues of waterway health around the region.’
The Mackay, Whitsunday, and Isaac regions represent some of the best places to visit in Queensland. It’s worth keeping it that way.
‘Waterways are such a core part of the region around here, and what we love to do; fish and hike and those sorts of things. We’re aiming for healthy waterways contributing to a prosperous, liveable region.’