The Queensland government has announced a new $15 million initiative to protect the pristine coastal waters of the Darling Downs.
Key points:Coopers caves are located in the Darling, Coffs Harbour, and Goldfields coastal areasThe caves were discovered by an explorer in 1892, the NSW Government saidCoopers Cave was created in response to a major flood of coal minesThe Government said it will establish a conservation area for the caves that will include more than 20 hectaresThe Queensland Government said the new conservation area will include up to 20 hectares of natural habitat.
“The project will protect the reef from the impacts of coal mining and protect endangered reef species, including reef sharks and reef turtles,” Minister for Environment, Tourism and Culture Michael McCormack said in a statement.
“It will also support the recovery of the caves from mining operations.”
The new area will be a part of the State Government’s Reefs and Freshwater Conservation Strategy, which aims to ensure the conservation of Queensland’s coasts.
The Reefs & Freshwater Strategy is an ambitious initiative that includes establishing a conservation plan for the Darling Waters and Coffs Harbor Coastal Area, the Goldfields Coastal Area and the Coffs Basin.
It will create a unique, protected natural habitat that will allow scientists and local communities to engage with the reef system.
Mr McCormack also announced a $15-million investment to protect coopers coral reefs in Goldfields.
“Cooper reefs provide an important ecosystem service that supports our native reef ecosystem,” he said.
“We believe this investment will help ensure the long-term sustainability of these iconic reef ecosystems and ensure we have the appropriate protection for our environment.”
Coopers Reef has been designated as a world heritage site in the National Trusts List.
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