The Cape York region includes 43,000 square kilometres of catchments that drain eastwards into the Great Barrier Reef. The region contains some exceptional conservation assets, including relatively intact and extensive coastal dune fields, wetlands, rainforest, heathlands and river systems that support high levels of biodiversity found nowhere else in Australia.
A sizeable proportion of land in Cape York is under Aboriginal ownership or management. Traditional use of marine resources is very high, particularly in inshore areas adjacent to Indigenous communities.
Major catchments of the region include Jacky Jacky Creek, the Olive Pascoe, Lockhart, Stewart, Normanby, Jeannie and Endeavour Rivers.