Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park
The Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park (GBR Coast MP) is a State marine park that runs the full length of the Commonwealth Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) from just north of Baffle Creek (north of Bundaberg) to Cape York. It provides protection for Queensland tidal lands and tidal waters.
The GBR Coast MP supports the creation of a comprehensive and balanced zoning system within the GBRMP, providing protection of the Great Barrier Reef's unique biodiversity, while continuing to provide opportunities for the use of and access to the marine park.
The GBR Coast MP and Zoning Plan commenced on 5 November 2004.
Before the commencement of the GBR Coast MP, four Queensland marine parks existed in the GBR Region—the Mackay/Capricorn Marine Park, Townville/Whitsunday Marine Park, Trinity Inlet/ Marlin Coast Marine Park and the Cairns Marine Park. These marine parks were amalgamated into the GBR Coast MP. The GBR Coast MP includes the rivers, creeks and mangrove areas that formed parts of these former marine parks.
Along the far northern Queensland coast to Cape York, the marine park does not include rivers, creeks and estuaries, and stops at the seaward edge of significant mangrove forests, for example, the marine park does not include Port Clinton, Burdekin River and Cape York rivers.
The GBR Coast MP complements the GBRMP through adopting similar zone objectives, and entry and use provisions for all zones except Estuarine Conservation Zones which are unique to the GBR Coast MP. While the activities that can be carried out within the GBR Coast MP and GBRMP are generally the same, there are some Queensland-specific provisions that may apply.
Details on the zoning can be found on the detailed maps on the GBRMP Authority website.
Copies of the Marine Parks (Great Barrier Reef Coast) Zoning Plan 2004, the Marine Parks Regulation 2017 and the Marine Parks (Declaration) Regulation 2006 (which includes the marine park boundary description) can be obtained from the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website.
Some areas in the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park have special regulatory conditions that may prohibit certain activities, as shown on each site’s regulatory notices below.
Lady Musgrave Reef
The Queensland Government, in conjunction with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, has amended the Lady Musgrave Reef site management arrangements to continue to provide protection of the reef's unique biodiversity, while providing opportunities for the use of and access to the site.
Site management arrangements include vessel use restrictions, the prohibition of swimming or snorkelling in the access channel to the beach and the lighting of fires on the Island, beach or in the lagoon.
North West Island Reef
The Queensland Government has introduced a Special Activity Area to continue to provide protection of the reef's unique biodiversity, while providing opportunities for the use of and access of the site.
Public moorings and reef protection markers in the Great Barrier Reef
The Queensland Department of Environment and Science, through the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, operate a joint field management program that encompasses the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park.
The field management program maintains 127 reef protection markers where anchoring of vessels is prohibited and 128 public-use moorings throughout the Great Barrier Reef. This infrastructure protects the Reef where anchoring would otherwise damage the fragile reefs visitors come to enjoy and facilitates use at sites where visitation is high. Information and maps showing the location of the reef protection markers and public moorings can be found at Moorings and No-anchoring areas.
Bowling Green Bay netting restrictions to help dugongs
To complement measures introduced by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in 2011 to protect dugongs in Bowling Green Bay, the Queensland Government introduced changes to the Marine Parks (Great Barrier Reef Coast) Zoning Plan in 2016 to extend the commercial netting restrictions to also cover intertidal areas (from low water to the high water mark). This ensures complementary marine park rules extend from the Commonwealth Great Barrier Reef Marine Park boundary at low water to the landward boundary of the State marine park at the high water mark. The netting restrictions do not extend into any creeks or inlets in the area.
Combined, the netting restrictions in place under State and Commonwealth Marine Park legislation only affect commercial net fishers operating in the Bowling Green Bay Restricted Netting Area. All other recreational activities and other forms of commercial fishing rules remain unchanged, however it is essential that these activities are still carried out in accordance with Marine Park and fisheries legislation.
With the Queensland Government extending the Restricted Netting Area rules over intertidal areas, greater protection is afforded to dugongs, and compliance and dugong protection actions in the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan are supported.
You can find out more about Species Conservation (dugong protection) Special Management Areas and view maps of each Dugong Protection Area at Special Management Areas.
Where can I find further information?
- By emailing your enquiry to Marine.Policy@des.qld.gov.au
- By phone on 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website