The Blue Heart
  • Last updated:
  • 21 Oct 2019

The Blue Heart is an area of more than 5,000 hectares in the Maroochy River Catchment. It contains important environmental features and acts as a critical flood storage area to protect the catchment from flood impacts.

 

To find out what the Blue Heart area means to our Traditional Owners, watch the Kabi Kabi Story

Blue Heart project objectives

The Blue Heart project aims to protect and manage the most critical areas of the floodplain. At a regional level it enables us to:

  • take a proactive approach to understand and manage the impacts of coastal hazards
  • establish a significant and complex wetland and floodplain for our region
  • enhance water quality of the Maroochy River system.

The land within the Blue Heart area is held for:

  • conservation
  • generation of renewable energy
  • water quality nutrient offsetting
  • vegetation offsetting
  • open space purposes. 

Partners

At its core is an area of around 1200 hectares, which is under the care and control of Blue Heart partners:

  • Sunshine Coast Council
  • Department of Environment and Science
  • Unitywater.

Blue Heart project partnership opportunities

The Blue Heart will strengthen the Maroochy-Noosa Wallum Corridor. The area has high biodiversity values as recognised at a state and national level. It is also council's ambition to:

  • provide parkland, sports fields and open space areas for the community
  • attract more visitors to the region
  • provide high value ecotourism and cultural tourism opportunities.

Council will also work with landholders so they may access new land management options. This will include facilitating discussions on funding from new industries, such as blue carbon.

Throughout the life of the Blue Heart, council will seek the support of partners, external agencies and major corporations.

Blue Heart project focus areas

The Blue Heart area is on a natural floodplain and is a critical flood storage area which protects the natural and built environment in the Maroochy River catchment from flood impacts.

At times, tidal inundation impacts the area. We expect this to be a regular occurrence as the climate changes. It is likely that much of the area is becoming increasingly susceptible to incremental tidal inundations.

Due to these future changes, council hopes to work with landholders and local communities to explore land-use options for private properties. These options aim to build future economic and environmental resilience, while retaining a focus on flood hazard management.

It's an area where the careful management of land and water can lead to positive outcomes for the environment, our community and our economy.

There are several projects underway in the Blue Heart:


Partner: Unitywater
Land size: 191ha

This area is former cane land that is naturally being restored to wetlands. It is used to deliver water quality nutrient offsets. Find out more about this project on Unitywater’s website.

Partner: Sunshine Coast Council
Land Size: 49ha

The 15MV solar farm generates enough energy to offset 100% of council’s electricity consumption. In its first year of operation, the solar farm received five prestigious awards. For more information click here

Partner: Department of Environment and Science
Land Size: 347ha

The conservation park helps to protect the endangered Casuarina Glauca and other birds and mammals of conservation significance, including the Australian painted snipe and grey-headed flying fox. 

Partner: Sunshine Coast Council
Land Size: 700ha

Council is undertaking a study (on land owned by council, Department of Environment and Science and Unitywater) to explore ecological processes, services and changes to revegetated wetlands, disused cane fields and some smaller areas of ongoing cane farming. 

Partner: Sunshine Coast Council
Land size: 151ha

This land assists to consolidate and expand important biodiversity such as the Maroochy-Noosa Wallum Corridor, through protection and rehabilitation activities. 

Partner: Sunshine Coast Council
Land size: 112ha

This wetland is home to wet and dry eucalypt forests, rainforest, melaleuca forest, casuarina woodland, salt marsh and mangroves. More than 200 types of birds, as well as crabs, butterflies and other animals call the wetlands their home. 

Partner: Sunshine Coast Council
Land size: N/A

Recreation trails such as the scenic Maroochy River Canoe Trail and the planned trail from Nambour to Coolum contribute to the Sunshine Coast’s unique character, relaxed and healthy lifestyle and rich biodiversity.

More information

Blue Carbon frequently asked questions 

Blue Heart partnership frequently asked questions

Contacts

For more information email blueheart@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.