News

Repeated Mary River floods hit Hervey Bay coral hard

OUR coral is in trouble and according to University of Queensland PhD student Ian Butler it's time to act.

Mr Butler estimates the 2011 and 2013 floods destroyed up to 60% of the coral in Hervey Bay waters, with the marine national park zone at the northern end of Big Woody Island suffering a near total loss.

He said floodwaters raced down the river and entered the ocean, bringing with them sediments, fresh water and chemicals such as fertiliser or petrol.

"It bathes the coral in this water… but corals like to have clear, warm water," he said.

Mr Butler said although coral spent lots of time trying to "clean itself up", it struggled when not given enough time to recover.

He said poor water quality was also a major problem facing the Barrier Reef and one way to fix the problem might be to plant more trees.

The researcher said 85% of the Mary River bank was eroding, and more trees and other plants were needed to rejuvenate and steady the area in case of floods.

He is urging the government to help protect Australian reefs and says global warming predicts an increase in floods, which may lead to more dead coral.

Mr Butler said a world without coral would be a "sad, sad thing".

"Coral reefs are beautiful... they are like the rainforests of the sea," he said.

"Obviously coral is very important for fisheries, tourism and shoreline protection… the corals are also useful for medical things, like the treatment of cancer or the creation of sunscreen.

"I would recommend paying attention to what you're putting in the water."

Marine biologist and remote University of Queensland student Ian Butler is studying Hervey Bay's coral as he completes his doctorate.
Marine biologist and remote University of Queensland student Ian Butler is studying Hervey Bay's coral as he completes his doctorate. Valerie Horton

Topics:  coral, hervey bay, hervey bay, mary river floods




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

OPINION: The Sharks are in the box seat

Titans player Greg Bird fights with Raiders player Joseph Tapine during the Round 16 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Canberra Raiders at CBUS Stadium on the Gold Coast, Sunday June 26, 2016. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Tough to stop Cronulla on pursuit of NRL's minor premiership.

OPINION: NRL’s top eight battle will be close

Jamie Soward of the Panthers (centre right) is tackled by Chris McQueen of the Titans (centre left) during the round 11 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Gold Coast Titans at Pepper Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, May 22, 2016. (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Hayden Johnson predicts how the NRL's last 10 rounds will work out.

Woman charged with stealing from two stores in Maryborough

The woman is expected to appear in court on July 19.

Latest deals and offers

Joel Seeney defies the odds and collects second place in the Max's muscle up challenge

Beating the odds with a point to prove - Maryborough Fitness Health and Bodyworks'...

Dry July on the Fraser Coast

Dry July - Vera Van De Velde (clinical nurse - Alcohol & Other Drugs Support Service) asking drinkers to abstain for the month of July.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Dry July is a chance to abstain from alcohol for the month of July to raise money...

Maryborough mural poject

Maryborough artist Craig Winter dedicates his Kent Street mural to the story of the Bauer Nurses. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Craig Winter is creating the latest Maryborough Mural Project artwork.

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward