Pumicestone Catchment Convergence

Minutes from Summary Session – 17 & 18 February 2021


Mike Ronan – Presentation of summaries and research gaps Days 1 & 2

  • Values of catchment have been reiterated
  • Cultural, tourism, recreation
  • Baton been passed on
  • Management day at the end bring it all together
  • Capturing traditional knowledge – shell middens still much to learn
  • Innovative- mangrove rehabilitation – not many projects like it
  • Shellfish reef project – ultimate finding will be hugely beneficial
  • Research on fish is world leading
  • No map of intertidal areas in the passage – this needs to be pulled together
  • Agriculture sector – gained some empathy, difficult catchment to farm due to soils
  • Forestry industry – very difficult impact challenges
  • Planning tools, CHAS
  • Constructed wetlands, floating wetlands, bioreactors
  • Tremendous work by community groups & land for Wildlife program
  • Litter – no excuse, enormous impact on our values, crept up on us


  • Whole of system, value-based approach, need to link it all together
  • More information on threatened species
  • Need more monitoring of shorebirds
  • Need to know more information on the dynamics of the passage
  • Threats – weeds & feral, jellyfish, Lyngbya – monitoring required for better management
  • Dugongs & turtles in the passage – more research needed.

Q: DO you see the wetland page as the home of a lot of this information?

Mike: yes. Need to keep adding to it.

Summaries by session hosts:

  1. Traditional Knowledge & Projects – Susie Chapman
  • Big difference between last conference with no traditional owner projects to report on
  • Midden mapping- need funding for continued mapping
  • Cultural fire management in its infancy
  • Mangrove approval process prohibitive, needs more funding and mapping
  • Still got a long way to go for all families involved and empowered with funding, resources and time.

2) Community knowledge and Stewardship – Peter Armstrong

  • Community champions
  • Continued involvement over the years
  • Plants in grounds, citizen scientists
  • Inspiring video from Tangalooma Ecomarines
  • Discontinuity of funding
  • Want partnerships rather than blocks put up
  1. Marine Habitat & Species – Ben Gilby
  • Innovative research
  • World leading
  • Increase in knowledge since last conference
  • Stories of good and bad
  • Issues of sediment
  • Jellyfish
  • Lyngbya blooms
  • Rapid decline in shorebird abundance
  • Significant gaps in our knowledge of dugongs and water mouse in the catchment
  • Positive oyster reef projects
  • Improvements in WQ values
  • Good social values and use in passage
  • Still don’t understand marine habitats in the passage
  • Multiple use marine habitats, multiple objectives, maximise our management
  1. Climate Impacts & Adaptations – Gabriel Conroy
  • Complex issues
  • Highly contested issue
  • SCC and MBRC CHAS- good job representing complexity of issues and importance of good stakeholder engagement, multi criteria analysis of risks
  • Bribie island break through, long shore drift, ever evolving landscapes, break through inevitable but what we do next is significant
  • Multi-disciplinary team USC and SCC ecosystem services- innovative GIS modelling to understand how people understand the audience
  • All voices and equally important
  1. Terrestrial Habitat & Species – Ben McMullen
  • Dynamic and diverse remnant veg communities
  • Many RE’s are not well represented in conservation estates
  • SCC ecological values in their LGA – fragmentation model. Small number of areas well integrated and large number of fragmented areas.
  • Land for Wildlife, many people doing exceptional work. Program has continued to draw new people over decades. Highly depended on goodwill of future landholders.
  • Biosecurity – 41 high priority species, LG’s responsible for the rest, hobbies responsible for a lot of spread.
  • Fragmented vegetation can support high biodiversity as proven by citizen science in the Aura estate.
  • Measured and considered approach to environmental values before management decisions made.
  • School kids provided an inspiring video of the future generation and sustainability.
  1. Agricultural Knowledge & Science – Rachel Abel
  • Growers are stewards of their own land
  • Research limited by funding
  • Horticultural systems complex
  • Small group extension staff working with growers
  • No economic incentives for practices that promote env sustainability
  1. Sustainable Development – Claudia Balwin
  • Managing for outdoor recreation, maintaining biodiversity & ecosystem services
  • Water resilient coast & wetlands. Reduce demand on water supply while improving water quality.
  • Managing multiple objectives.
  • This requires collaboration and good partnerships
  1. Summary of plenary session by Mike Ronan – Graham Webb
  • Walking the Landscape process was pioneered in the Pumicestone Catchment
  • Integrated holistic picture of the catchment
  • Strong understanding of our catchment to empower management
  • Need to review catchment story and update
  • Surprised by how much I learnt over the last 2 days – very impressed by the range of activities going on
  • Working in environment and NRM we have a strong regional platform
  • Level of engagement
  • Tomorrow will be about identifying knowledge gaps, management/emerging issues, opportunities (including funding e.g. RRI)
  • Population growth – impacts, pressures, climate change, poor behaviour
  • Let’s aim for improvement in the catchment!