World Wetlands Day will be celebrated from 8-11am Sunday 4 February, 2024 at GJ Walter Park, Cleveland on the shores of Moreton Bay marine park – an area designated Wetlands of International Importance since 1993.

Themed “Our Bay – Our Flyway,” it will highlight why these Ramsar-listed wetlands must be protected for the migratory shorebirds (including the critically endangered Eastern Curlew) that make the epic 12000km return flight from the Arctic to our local feeding grounds.

The flyway these shorebirds use incorporates over 22 countries including China, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia – and in Australia, our own Moreton Bay.

The free family event will invite visitors to:

–       help paint a ‘flock’ of hundreds of migratory birds for a community art project

–       view shorebirds through powerful telescopes;

–       hear speakers including Dr Hugh Possingham, former Chief Scientist for Queensland and UQ Professor

–       learn how wetlands contribute to human wellbeing; and

–       see local Toondah koalas in their natural habitat.

There will be a free sausage sizzle, refreshments, live music as well as displays from community and environmental groups.

Says organiser, Judith Hoyle, Board Member, BirdLife Australia: “Visitors will also be reminded of the severe threat to these local wetlands from a proposed Toondah Harbour real estate project that would destroy over 40 hectares of these wetlands.

The federal government will make its decision as to whether the project can go ahead by 23 April 2024.

“We must acknowledge that if this real estate scheme is permitted, this event may be one of the final ones we can hold in this area,” said Ms Hoyle.

World Wetlands Day is one of many events being staged internationally, with a focus on how wetlands enhance human wellbeing. The latest estimates show that wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests.

This event is organised by the Toondah Alliance including: Redlands2030 Inc, BirdLife Southern Qld, BirdLife Australia, Qld Wader Study Group, ACF Community Bayside, ACF, Koala Action Group, Stradbroke (Terrangeri) Environmental and Cultural Protection Association Inc.

Photo supplied by Birdlife Australia