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Issue 27, Fortnight of 7 March 2016

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Wednesday 16 March
Brisbane Region Members Social Evening
7:15pm for a 7:30pm start, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens

Cost: $3.00 cover charge


Sunday 20 March
Bird Walk- Wynnum North Boardwalk

Friday 25 March
2016 Easter Camp at Girraween

Saturday 30 April
Labour Day weekend camp - Sheep Station Creek

Saturday 27 August
NPAQ Outback Parks Exploration

Community Conservation:

Saturday 19 March
Vegetation Management Project at Boombana, D'Aguilar NP

Calendar Dates of Interest:

6-12 March
National Groundwater Awareness Week

9-13 March
World Science Festival

19 March 2016
Earth Hour

Recent submissions by NPAQ: having our say
A key role of NPAQ is advocating on key issues for protected areas in Queensland.  This week our organization made two submissions. The first was to the Finance and Administration Committee supporting the North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2015. This Bill seeks to restore the 2019 end date for mining on North Stradbroke Island. 

The second was a submission to the Agriculture and Environment Committee regarding the management of barrier fences in Queensland.  NPAQ’s submission focused on highlighting environmental issues associated with constructing and maintaining barrier fences. 

Once the papers are officially released from both committees, NPAQ will publish the submissions via the NPAQ website.
Low level coral bleaching observed on the Great Barrier Reef
Forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology have indicated a high probability of heat stress in the coming weeks.  These conditions may lead to further bleaching on sections of the Great Barrier Reef. 

GBRMPA staff are continuing reef health monitoring efforts across 60 reefs. This is a huge undertaking which so far this summer has included over 500 surveys.  In 19 percent of the surveys to date, coral bleaching was observed.  The results of these surveys, coupled with observations from the “Eye on the Reef” citizen science program continue to provide managers with valuable insight reef health.

In a recent statement, Environment Minister Steven Miles stated that while the Reef remained a natural wonder, the reports of coral bleaching were a call to action. You can read more about what Minister Miles had to say here

You can find out more about the “Eye on the Reef” citizen science program here

Understanding major sources of marine plastic waste in Australian waters
Millions of tonnes of rubbish, including plastic enters our oceans every year. Plastic pollution is carried along by the ocean’s currents and reaches the furthest corners of our seas. Once in the ocean, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. These pieces are eaten by animals at the bottom of our food chains. Larger pieces of plastic are also mistaken for food and eaten. Wildlife can become entangled causing injury and in some cases death. Plastic pollution travels easily from land to sea, blowing in from land-based refuse sites and via stormwater drains into waterways. As society moves further towards the convenience of plastic packaging, the problem of marine waste also continues to grow.

This week the Australian Government has announced funding to understand the impacts and source of plastic waste in Australia’s oceans, reefs and waterways.  Research will look at the relationship between debris in the marine environment and litter data from nearby sites, aiming to identify pathways through which litter enters the marine environment.  This research forms part of the National Environmental Science Programme.

You can find more information about the planned research here
You can find out more about the program here.

WWF land clearing campaign kicks off
Three years ago, land clearing controls were gutted in Queensland. WWF warned the government at the time that this was a serious mistake.
Now their fears are unfolding in real time.
  • 300,000 hectares cleared in 2013-14, a major leap upward on previous years
  • accelerating Reef pollution and carbon emissions.
  • Over 200,000 hectares of threatened species habitat cleared since 2012
  • including over 40,000 of koala habitat.
The present government promised before the election to bring back land clearing controls, and after a long and worrying delay, has at least promised to bring a Bill to parliament in the first quarter of this year to fulfil its election commitment.
WWF and allies have begun a public campaign to ensure that this happens and that the proposed Bill is a strong step forward.
WWF invites you to join them in writing to state MPs demanding prompt action to restore strong land clearing controls.
Comprehensive reports on the state of play are found here and here.
You can find out more about  WWF’s write-in campaign here or to the Wilderness Society campaign page here.

Have you bought tickets for the NPAQ Annual Raffle yet?
1st Prize is a spectacular four day, all-inclusive, guided walk experience exploring stunning mountains, escarpments, forests and ancient volcanic plateaus of one of Australia’s most remarkable regions. The Scenic Rim Trail package is valued at $4,600.
There are 18 prizes in total to be won.

Tickets are just $5 each, $10 for 3, or $30 for a book of 15.
See prizes and buy tickets.

Advertise in Protected magazine for as little as $70
Protected is the official magazine of NPAQ.  Each issue contains in depth news on national parks; and featured national park, walk and species articles. 

Distributed bimonthly to 2,000+ readers and available for download on the NPAQ website, the magazine is an effective way to advertise your organisation or business to our readers.

Advertising rates start at $70 and can be in full colour.
Take a look at Protected and advertising rates.
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