As you’ve probably heard, the Great Barrier Reef has been having a pretty rough time of late. Warming seas have caused extensive bleaching, which is bad news for coral, and for many of the creatures that make their homes on the reef.
But the Reef is also threatened by run-off of nutrients and sediment, often associated with broad-scale farming and other land-use changes. However, intact wetlands can act as natural filters, and absorb this run-off safely, preventing it from running straight onto the reef, and improving overall water quality. In some areas where wetlands have previously been removed or damaged, people are working to restore the wetlands, and in doing so, are also protecting the Reef.
Researchers at James Cook University have been studying this process – click here to read an ABC News article on their work so far.