Integrated Habitat Restoration for the Discovery Coast

CMERC Researcher standing knee deep in mud checking research markers with a laptop


The Rodd's Harbour Fish Habitat Area (FHA-036) has three historic and unlawfully installed earthen causeways that obstruct aquatic bio passage and the fresh-marine continuum in this high-value coastal wetland system. The following proposal by CMERC focuses on evaluating improvements in the fish habitat of planned removal of these causeways, focusing on changes in adjacent wetland habitat (salt marsh, mangrove and seagrass meadows), water and sediment quality. A large erosion site located in the tidal area of the Kolan River on the Discovery Coast has been identified as a major contributor of fine sediments entering the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and is experiencing further erosion due to the compromised nature of the eroded shoreline site.

By undertaking engineered shoreline rehabilitation works in this area, the bank will be stabilised, avoiding further shoreline erosion at the site and downstream and enabling natural revegetation, further binding sediment and preventing it from entering the marine environment. Plans to rehabilitate this region offer a unique research opportunity to use multiple lines of evidence approach to evaluate the success of this and other similar engineering projects.


This represents a unique opportunity to research novel coastal management engineering projects and work with local communities and resource managers.

Lead Partner

Burnett Mary Regional Group


Professor Emma Jackson - Project Lead

Associate Professor Emma Jackson

Professor Emma Jackson is the Director of the Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre and a Research Fellow in Marine Ecology. She has 19 years of research expertise in fisheries ecology, seagrass landscape and restoration ecology, impacts on marine species, coastal marine habitats and ecosystem health indicators.

Sustainable Development Goals

At CQUniversity we are committed to embedding sustainable practice in our operations, interactions and relationships, underpinned by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability is one of our strategic pillars within our Strategic Plan 2019-2023.

This project aligns with the following SDG Goals:

  • 11 - Sustainable cities and communities
  • 13 - Climate Action
  • 14 - Life below water
  • 17 - Partnerships to achieve the Goal