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Reef Assist Project

MICDA is one of the project partners working to make a positive environmental, social and economic benefit for our local reefs and communities


The project activities focus on the manual removal of overgrowing, weeds in the creeks and waterways on the Island.



Chris Sampson

Reef Recovery Overview

Reef Recovery on Magnetic Island is an innovative project in partnership with government, researchers, industry and community that aims to make a positive environmental, social and economic benefit for our local reefs and communities.


The project activities focus on the manual removal of overgrowing, weedy macroalgal on the fringing reefs of Magnetic Island. The project has environmental, social and economic benefits for the reef, community and industry.


The Project

The Townsville City Council received project grant funds from the Queensland State Government in 2021 to remove weeds, and to use the weeds through an innovative humification process to create Humisoil which is used for stabilising and enhancing soils through reinvigoration of the naturally occurring microbes of the local areas.


The project also included collecting and storing native seeds, fostering native plants, constructing walking trails and helping local businesses (through local purchases) as well as individuals (through employment and training). In doing so the larger outcome would assist the Reef by stabilising creek lines and lessen the overall impact on the Reef, especially in large rain events.

In February 2021 MICDA successfully applied for, and received approval and funding to implement the Reef Assist Project on Magnetic Island. The program aptly named Reef Assist ran from March 2021 to the end of November 2021 with 15 part-time employees engaged.  Then a second round of funding was received to support a smaller scale program involving 6 part-time employees until the end of June 2022.

A local Islander with decades of horticultural experience, local knowledge and innovative sustainable soil enhancement techniques, led the team of 15 part time individuals to assist creek lines in several of the bays of Magnetic Island.


Areas developed can be found on Kelly Street in Nelly Bay, along the creek line near Mandalay Avenue in Nelly Bay, the end of Pollard Street in Horseshoe Bay, Henry Lawson Drive in Horseshoe Bay, and Hordern Avenue in Arcadia.  


The MICDA Reef Assist team also collaborated and worked with MINCA, the Arcadia Coastcare in Geoffrey Bay and Alma Bay, and the Beach Scrub Project Team.

As well as the above sites, the Reef Assist team have also worked removing weeds and rubbish across a larger number of sites from the Golf Club course edges and Dog Shed in Picnic Bay, to sites at the end of Horseshoe Bay beach, Sandals drainage lines and many others in between.


Removed weeds included Mother in Law’s Tongue, Siam weed, Mother of Millions, Mile a Minute vine, Praxalis, etc.


Reef Assist has successfully maintained the re-vegetated areas, using soil enhancement to create a more sustainable Island with no chemical additives being used, as well as create trained and skill employment.

The following maps show the areas of interest for the Reef Assist Program on Magnetic Island:

Reef Assist Reports

For earlier reports, please see our MICDA Newsletters:
Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve Report: February 2024

Reef Assist Project Partners

Arcadia Coastcare_Stacked.jpg
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