A creek is a small stream of water. It often merges with a bigger river before going to the sea.
Creeks are important because they provide water to animals and people. Water is vital to all living creatures, and us humans are large users of water as we use it not only to drink but also for washing our clothes, taking baths and showers, cleaning the dishes, flushing the toilets, watering the garden….
Creeks are also very important homes for a lot of land and sea creatures such as mud crabs, gobies, platypus, freshwater fishes and crocodiles, tortoises, water dragons, ducks… Many terrestrial animals such as wallabies, jabirus and echidnas come to the creeks to drink.
Creek to Coral makes sure that the quality of the water in the creeks is acceptable both for animals and humans. Regularly, C2C checks the water quality in various creeks around Townsville and Thuringowa.
Creek to Coral also ensures that humans avoid polluting the water before it goes into the sea, and, if the water is polluted already, it explores ways of reducing pollution and clean the water. Humans pollute water in many ways-not only by using it for cleaning dishes or showering, but also by littering in the streets, using toxic chemicals to grow food or produce objects, and even by using air-conditioning and cars.
This is why creel to coral is a very important project: it protects the water before it is rejected in the ocean where it could cause further damage to marine creatures and ecosystems.
Townsville and Thuringowa regions are blessed with many beautiful creeks. Perhaps you’ve been swimming in Alligator Creek before, south of Townsville, or took a dip in Crystal Creek, North of Thuringowa?
View a map with all creeks in the region 1.8MB
You can help to protect creeks in many ways! You can take shorter showers or smaller baths to avoid polluting too much water, you can tell people to stop littering and pick up any litter you can see in the streets. You can ask your parents to buy a low-flow showerhead and create a nice garden with many native plants to retain rainwater. You can also ask them to buy environmentally-friendly toilet paper, soaps and cleaning products, as well as biological food.
You can also join a community group such as Creekwatch or Seagrass Watch.
A Coral is a animal that lives in the ocean. They live in colonies of many individuals. They build up a skeleton made of calcium carbonate. Each generation grow on the skeleton of a coral from previous generations, forming a shape that is characteristic to the coral species. Corals have a symbiotic relationship with a small algae called zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae need light to survive, that’s why coral need clear water and sunlight.
In the tropics, corals contribute to the structure of coral reefs like the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). There are 793 of reef-building species of coral in the world, 400 of which are found in the GBR.
Coral reefs are the home of numerous animals, including endangered species such as turtles, whales, dolphins and dugongs.
Coral reefs in Australia are also very important for indigenous Australian people, because it is part of their dreamtime (mythology).
Finally, in our region, the Great Barrier Reef is important for tourism and recreational fishing: it is a place where people can have fun and learn about the amazing features of coral reef ecosystems.
Townsville and Thuringowa constitute one of the largest urban areas along the coast of the Great Barrier Reef. This means that many creeks and rivers that end up in the Great Barrier Reef go through areas where there are industries and farms that pollute their water. Industries and farms (e.g. sugar cane farms, mining..) are also responsible for the loss of wetlands, which are natural water filters.
Because of this, the Great Barrier Reef’s water quality is declining. This means that the water is not as clear as it should be and that corals and other marine animals are struggling for oxygen and light. Poor water quality also encourages the spread of coral diseases.
Creek to Coral aims to prevent this by ensuring that the water coming from coastal creeks and rivers is of better quality.
Townsville and Thuringowa are located along the coast of North Eastern Australia, where the Great Barrier Reef is located. You can see coral around Magnetic Island and you can take a boat to see the coral of the Great Barrier Reef, 45 mins away by fast catamaran.
To learn more about corals, reefs and other marine animals, you can also visit Townsville’s great Aquarium, Reef HQ
There are many things that you can do to protect our beautiful reef. You can: