Cooloola Coast – Southern Great Sandy Strait Catchment
The Cooloola Coast forms part of the Southern Great Sandy Strait Coastal Catchments. It is quite unique and posed a number of challenges at the time of Queensland Catchment boundary mapping in the early part of 2000. Situated at the northern end of Great Sandy National Park (Cooloola Section) and southern end of World Heritage K'gari (Fraser Island) and including the Great Sandy Marine Park, the Cooloola Coast draws water from the upper Noosa River and underground aquifers of the Cooloola sandmass.
Thus our water is drawn from the South East Queensland Catchment area (SEQ Catchments). The coastal creeks form in the hills to the west and north west of the townships of Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Cove, flowing overland and underground to the wetlands and tidal estuarine areas of the Great Sandy Strait.
A dominant freshwater influence on the catchment, especially the marine ecology however, is the Mary River. The mouth of the Mary opens at the northern end of the Great Sandy Strait where strong currents and fresh water flows influence the Strait to Hervey Bay in the north and Inskip Point and Tin Can Inlet in the south.
The Cooloola Coast has therefore been included as the southernmost coastal extremity of the Burnett Mary Catchment Region (Blue area of map on right); but is officially known as the Noosa Basin (north) by the Queensland Department of Environmental and Science. https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/facts-maps/basin-noosa/
Map courtesy of DERM on right (Proposed extension to Fraser Island World Heritage Area, March 2010) shows the Cooloola Coast- Southern Great Sandy Catchment area of interest for Cooloola Coastcare Association Inc. It includes the coastal creeks, aquifers, wetlands, marine and dune areas, as well as the coastal towns of Tin Can Bay, Cooloola Cove and Rainbow Beach. Partnerships include the key stakeholders: the Australian government The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC), Environmental Protection and Heritage, the Queensland Government Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), Gympie Regional Council (GRC), Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG), Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and Wide Bay Military Training Area.
The area lies within the Great Sandy Biosphere.