Mangrove forest in Southern Redland Bay aims to breathe new life into Logan River

A 9.8-hectare mangrove and saltmarsh habitat to be planted in Southern Redland Bay, aims to breathe new life into the Logan River, providing water quality benefits and encouraging new habitat for local wildlife.

Lendlease is partnering with Redland City Council and the Queensland Department of Environment and Science to create new mangrove and saltmarsh habitats from scratch, which aims to provide water quality benefits in the Logan River and provide habitat for birds, native fish and other marine species.

The mangrove and saltmarsh habitats will be created as part of the new Southern Redland Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The construction of the wastewater treatment plant includes the construction of an Advanced Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) to treat recycled water to an extremely high standard and a secondary natural filtration system (wetlands), being the creation of a 9.8ha mangrove and saltmarsh habitats.

The first steps in the exciting project are under way with mangrove seedlings salvaged from the Pimpama estuary and Port of Brisbane drains, which would otherwise have been lost, are now being propagated at a tube stock nursery in Caboolture. Approximately 35,000 mangroves will be planted to create the mangrove habitat.

Tony McAlister, Director of expert consultancy Water Technology, said the project was creating a sustainability and innovation benchmark in the treatment of wastewater while also adding ecological value to the region.

“We were engaged by Lendlease to understand how wastewater from the Shoreline development and other properties should be managed, and the solution we came up with, as well as building a wastewater treatment plant, was to build a mangrove forest from scratch,” he said.

“Basically, the wastewater treatment plant will treat the wastewater to a very high standard and progressively start releasing recycled water into the mangroves.

“The mangroves will do what we call offset nutrients in the recycled water, resulting in their growth. We will be creating around 10 hectares of new wetlands that wasn’t there beforehand.”

Evolve Environmental Solutions Director John White said Lendlease approached Evolve Environmental in early 2022 to be involved in the mangrove project at Redlands.

“At the end of 2023, we hope to be installing around 35,000 mangroves, consisting of about five different species,” he said.

Lendlease began construction of the Southern Redland Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant in June this year. This is the start of a two-year program which will include the creation of a mangrove forest and saltmarsh habitat as part of the delivery of vital community infrastructure.