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 biopassage and the fresh-marine continuum in this high value coastal wetland system. The following proposal by CMERC focuses on evaluating improvements in fish habitat of planned removal of these causeways, focusing on changes in adjacent wetland habitat (saltmarsh, mangrove and seagrass meadows), water and sediment quality. A large erosion site located in the tidal area of the Kolan River in 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 to occur further binding sediment and preventing it from entering the marine environment. Plans to rehabilitate this region offer a unique research opportunity to use a multiple lines of evidence approach to evaluate the success of this and other similar engineering projects.


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


Burnett Mary Regional Group


Emma Jackson

Professor Emma Jackson  - Project Lead

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 the areas of fisheries ecology, seagrass landscape and restoration ecology, impacts on marine species, coastal marine habitats and ecosystem health indicators

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

This project aligns to the following SDG Goals:

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