About the project

Landscape in context

The Normanby River in southeast Cape York is the fourth largest river system flowing into the Great Barrier Reef. The Catchment area, which covers an area of 24,228 km2, consists of numerous riverine and wetland systems, one of Queensland’s largest conservation areas (Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park), sacred aboriginal sites, cattle grazing country and rich agricultural land at Lakeland Downs.

The lower catchment includes the largest aggregation of wetlands listed on the Directory of Important Wetlands on the East Coast of Australia (i.e. other than the Great Barrier Reef). Various reports have highlighted the Normanby River as an erosion hotspot in the eastern Cape (e.g. Prosser et al., 2001, Brodie et al., 2003) and as such a priority for erosion mitigation measures (Brodie et al., 2003).

Based on these data the Great Barrier Reef Water Quality Protection Plan (2003) identified the Normanby River as one of 10 priority rivers exporting significant loads of sediments and nutrients to the Great Barrier Reef.

Project partners

Griffith University – Australian Rivers Institute
Cape York Sustainable Futures
Cape York Marine Advisory Group


Numerous people and organisations have provided assistance to enable this programme to be brought to fruition.


Laura Rangers; Southern Cape York Catchments, Lakefield National Park, Olkla Corporation, Queensland Dept Environment and Natural Resource Management (DERM) (now Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) & Qld Dept Science Information Technology Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA)


Kings Plains, Springvale, Crocodile-Welcome, Normanby, Fairview – Olive Vale,


Ian, Malcolm and Lynette McCollum, Ted Lee, Jason Carroll, Laura Rangers, Daryl and Lynda Paradise, Roy and Carlene Shepard, Damian Curr and Bridget Adams, Bungie Scott, Trent Cini,  Amanda Hogbin, Sarah Jess and Carly Smith, The Harrigan Family Paul Ryan, Toni-lee and Sam Smith; Haley Prout; Bill Bambury, Lina Lovenich Andrew Hartwig, Vince Manley, Dave Waters, Ryan Turner, Miles Furnas Terry Culpitt, Ron deBoer, Mike Ruckert, Peter Manson, Thomas Brooks-Wallace, Jo Hoyle and Jenny Spencer, Garry McKechnie,