Blue Heart Sunshine Coast
Blue Heart Sunshine Coast
  • Last updated:
  • 27 Jul 2020

Blue Heart Sunshine Coast is a place, a project and a partnership.

Place

The Blue Heart is an area of more than 5,000 hectares on a natural floodplain in the Maroochy River catchment. At its core is about 1,400 hectares of public land. This includes council's Coolum Creek Environment Reserve network, the Queensland Government's Coolum Creek Conservation Park, and Unitywater's Yandina Creek Wetland.

Surrounding this are lands for:

  • Rural and agricultural purposes
  • Generation of renewable energy 
  • Open space purposes.

 

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

Project

The Blue Heart provides flood storage for the Maroochy River Catchment. Preserving flood storage within the Blue Heart is critical to the ongoing flood management of the catchment and in particular the built environment.

This floodplain area is already impacted by tidal inundation. Over time the area is expected to continue transitioning due to climate change and projected sea level rise. This Blue Heart project seeks to manage the land and water through this transition to provide positive outcomes for our environment, community and economy. 

Blue Heart project objectives:

  • protect the most critical areas of the floodplain under public ownership
  • establish a regionally-significant complex of wetland and floodplain ecosystems
  • enhance water quality in the Maroochy River through nutrient management and sediment reduction works
  • provide community and recreation opportunities through regional parkland, open space and trails
  • establish new uses for existing rural and agricultural lands, including economic opportunities for landowners.

The Blue Heart Sunshine Coast is a Transformational Action for Council's Environment and Liveability Strategy - delivering a healthy environment and liveable Sunshine Coast in 2041.

Partnership

Blue Heart Sunshine Coast is an innovative partnership between Sunshine Coast Council, the Queensland Government's Department of Environment and Science and Unitywater. The partners will proactively work together to achieve the Blue Heart project objectives.

What opportunities does the Blue Heart Sunshine Coast present?

Many opportunities will emerge as the Blue Heart area transitions over time.

Council hopes to work with landholders and local communities to explore new land-use options. These options would aim to build future economic and environmental resilience, while retaining a focus on flood hazard management and climate change adaptation. This will include leading discussions on funding from new industries, such as blue carbon and environmental offsets.

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

It is also council's ambition to:

  • strengthen the Maroochy-Noosa Wallum Corridor, an area of high biodiversity values recognised at a state and national level
  • provide parkland and open space areas for the community
  • attract more visitors to the region
  • provide high value ecotourism and cultural tourism opportunities.

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.

Partner: Sunshine Coast Council
Landsize: 14ha

This reserve contains five different species of mangroves, some of which are possibly up to 200 years old. It also contains a number of different vegetation communities that support habitat for various species of flora and fauna.

More information

Blue Carbon frequently asked questions[210KB]

Blue Heart partnership frequently asked questions[3348KB]

Contacts

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