Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers, Mapoon, Queensland
The Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers commenced operation in 2008 and have worked tirelessly to look after their community, culture and country.
The Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers are based at the Jean Jimmy Land and Sea Centre, situated in the western coast of the Cape York at the mouth of the Wenlock River. They work tirelessly to manage 80km of coastline and three major river catchments.
On any given day you will find the Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers out on country removing ghost nets from the shoreline and river systems, with an average of 370 ghost nets removed each year.
The Rangers are passionate about protecting local marine life, including rescuing the large numbers of endangered Olive Ridley turtles that wash ashore entangled in ghost nets.
With a diverse set of skills the Rangers are also able to support weed and feral animal control, the conservation of the wetlands, the re-introduction of traditional fire management techniques and development of a database, mapping traditional knowledge and geographic information.
The Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers are a unified team with seven Land and Sea Rangers, a Land and Sea Coordinator, two Cultural Heritage Rangers, a Ranger Coordinator, a Senior Cultural Advisor and a Patrol Officer, all of whom are supported by a fulltime Administration officer.
Working in the traditional lands of Tjungundji, Yupungathi Warrangku, Taepithiggi, Thanakwith and Mpakwithi people, the team work closely with the Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council and in strong partnership with the traditional owners. The team also supply several prominent artists within the community with the ghost nets and rope, and have hosted several art workshops. Renowned local artist Zoe De Jersy (with the help of her husband Stan) transforms the nets and ropes into lifesize wetland and bushbirds, many of which have toured nationally.
Today the Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers continue their critical work to protect their marine life and keep their shores free from ghost nets. The team also continue their support to local artists and explore innovative ideas for recycling our ghost nets.
Photo below: Zoe De Jersey with her "Bush Turkey".