Mitchell River story map

Communicating research findings in a way that is useful, dynamic and accessible can be a challenge. The Mitchell River catchment in far north Queensland has been the focus of environmental research for decades because of the important environmental, cultural and economic values of the catchment, and the potential for development of the river’s water resources. However, past research is not always readily available to people who might need it for decision-making, such as Traditional Owners, land managers and other existing water users.

The Mitchell River story map will present findings from our projects Environmental water needs for the Mitchell River, Links between Gulf rivers and coastal productivity, Links between Gulf rivers and food for migratory shorebirds, and Environmental-economic accounting for the Mitchell River in a user-friendly form for everyone, including decision-makers at state and federal levels. The story map will be hosted on the Queensland Government WetlandInfo website.   

This project will:

  • synthesise a range of existing research on the Mitchell River
  • produce a user-friendly, web-based story map that integrates these research results in visually appealing ways
  • assist Traditional Owners and other land managers and decision-makers in accessing and understanding research findings, supporting sustainable development in the catchment.

Project activities

  • We are conducting workshops with scientists working on current Hub projects to identify possible data inputs.

  • We are partnering with Traditional Owners within the catchment to gain direction for, and input to, the project. In addition to working with the Kowanyama Aboriginal Land and Natural Resources Management Office, we are engaging with Traditional Owners throughout the catchment via our relationship with the Mitchell River Traditional Custodians Advisory Group (MRTCAG). Ruth Link, Chairperson of MRTCAG said ëMRTCAG represents clan estates from Yalanji, Mbabaram, Wokomin and Kuku Djungan and our collaboration on this project culminates in the coming together on 31 July to 1 August 2021 for a Respect, Responsibility and Peace Forum on Mbabaram Country where research findings will be reported and important discussions will be held about what next for our relationships and to explore future collaboration opportunities. While things are uncertain, we like to be prepared for all seasonsí.

  • We are engaging with interested people within the catchment, and state and federal governments to determine needs and provide feedback on our progress.

  • We are working with the Queensland Government wetlands team to develop the story map.

Anticipated outputs

This project will develop a dynamic web-based interface to explore research findings including

  • maps of floodplain inundation over the past two decades
  • models of rates of algal productivity which can tell us how much food is available for fish and other animals
  • food web analyses showing what foods invertebrates and fish eat, and where the aquatic ‘supermarket’ is
  • models of fish movement across the catchment.

  • Mitchell River, photo Kerry Trapnell
  • Ten Mile Swamp on the Mitchell River, photo Ben Stewart-Koster
  • Mitchell River, photo Stephen Faggotter