River mouth water quality monitoring will assess change over time in concentrations and loads of the major land sourced pollutants that have the potential to adversely affect coral reef and seagrass ecosystems. This monitoring will provide the primary indicator of the delivery of pollutants to the waters of the Great Barrier Reef, and consequently of the effectiveness of measures aimed at reducing that delivery. Parameters measured will include nutrient species, suspended solids and pesticides. Monitoring will consist of a conventional grab sampling program, as well as the use of innovative water quality sampling techniques at the mouths of the major rivers flowing into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (e.g. Fitzroy, Burdekin, Herbert, and Johnstone Rivers). Sampling will occur during both the wet and dry seasons. Outcomes: Information about current status and long-term (10 year) trends in water quality and marine ecosystem status in the GBRWHA.
Water quality monitoring will be carried out in the nearshore waters of the Great Barrier Reef to assess change over time in concentrations of key water quality indicators. Monitoring of marine water quality is required to establish the extent of improvement in lagoon water quality as a consequence of any reductions in delivery of pollutants to the marine environment. This monitoring will include the measurement of chlorophyll as a surrogate nutrient indicator, as well as the measurement of water turbidity and pesticide and pharmaceutically active compound concentrations at key inshore reef sites. Sampling methods will include state of the art water quality sensors with long-term data logging capacity to minimise fieldwork in the marine environment. Sampling of marine sediments will also be carried where necessary to assess long- term change in the accumulation of pesticides in the seafloor if these types of pollutants are being sequestered. Outcomes: Information about current status and long-term (10 year) trends in water quality and marine ecosystem status in the GBRWHA
Declining water quality is implicated in the degradation of near-shore Great Barrier Reef (GBR) ecosystems. The goal of this project is to provide a definitive answer to the question of how GBR water quality has changed since European arrival (pre- 1860). Using novel geochemical proxies in long-lived coral cores and innovative remote sensing techniques, we will develop quantitative histories of water quality and mangrove distribution change. This project will deliver the first integrated assessment of how coastal water quality and associated ecosystems have varied historically, which will be immediately applicable for long-term management of coastal ecosystems lining the GBR.
This activity is part of the Douglas WQIP project # 5 – Monitoring and Modelling of Sediment and Nutrient Flow Within and From Waters of Douglas Shire.
This project has gathered data from the automatic, manual and community monitoring activities so that it is stored, can be viewed and downloaded from the web.
Monitoring and modeling information will underpin establishment of a decision-support system (DSS) for environmental protection and planning activities in the Douglas Shire. The DSS tool will play a valuable role in environmental and planning decision- making, by assessing land use change on pollutant generation at the stream reach level and providing a tool for priority setting and investment planning at the expert, manager and community user scale to achieve agreed water quality targets. Outcomes: A data management and desktop data delivery system for Douglas Shire has been completed. The system is currently operational and is using CSIRO infrastructure. The interim URL is www.data-tv.csiro.au/DSCDDD/index.aspx The water quality data is visible and available to both internal and external users.
The program is led by the Mackay-Whitsunday Natural Resource Management Group, with the goal to ensure Healthy Waterways in the Mackay-Whitsunday region. The program aims to cooperatively deal with threats and opportunities associated with the “health” of rivers and streams within the region. The programs objective is to have rivers and streams in the region that is able to sustain a high diversity of environmental, economic and social activities. The overall program is made up of: Information Collation and Analysis, Industry Management and Practice – Urban / Industrial / Agricultural, Monitoring, Research and Development.
Develop an improved representation of nutrient sources, transformation and fate in GBR Catchments to assist Regional Bodies with target setting and prioritisation. Outcomes: Knowledge of the sources, transformation and fate of sediment and nutrient in the GBR catchments to assist target setting
“This project will sample and assess the contemporary fertility of typical surface soils from sugar and horticultural lands in sensitive reef catchments. This information will be interpreted in the context of land use, resource condition and trend and current fertiliser and by-product use practices with the emphasis on evidence of need to improve nutrient management practices and avoidance of overuse. Outcomes: • Collation and circulation of soil test diagnostic criteria for levels separating fertiliser response from non-responsive sites
• Assessment of hillslope erosion risk
• Documentation of laboratory methodology for inclusion in to the Australian • Handbook of Soil Chemical Methods
• Survey of findings by crop, catchment and region
• Assessment of the usefulness of ‘traditional’ soil P tests and the Mehlich 3 for predicting soluble P”
“The objective of this program is to mitigate impacts from the GBR catchments in the reef without undermining regional economic and communities. The project will give:
• Integrated regional economic models based on hydrological, ecological and socio- economic data
• Predictive understanding of the functioning of the region’s ecosystem from the perspective of water use – benefits and disadvantages
• Informed policy and investment decisions arising from new analytical capacity
Quantifying of social and economic indicators for use in water benefits accounting derived by the community”
The objectives of this research are to:
– Make robust estimates of terrestrial inputs of nutrients and sediment to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) which appropriately weight the relative contributions of wet, dry, pristine and modified catchments.
– Resolve short-term biological and chemical processes in Great Barrier Reef (GBR) waters which influence the biological availability and uptake of nutrient materials (carbon, nitrogen, phosphate) in river plumes.
– Develop an improved estimate of the fate of nutrient materials (C, N, and P) delivered to shelf sediments as a result of land runoff and related biological production, with emphasis on nutrient burial, recycling and denitrification in nearshore (terrestrial) sediments.
– Use the above information and other appropriate field and historical data, to develop robust, closed models and budgets of nutrient inputs, processing and fates as a basis for comparing human-influenced and pristine shelf regions in the GBRWHA.
– Provide environmental and water quality data essential to the companion task (126.96.36.199): effects of terrestrial run-off on coastal reefs.
– During the course of the above, to maintain long-term water quality monitoring activities in representative sections of the central GBR.
– To provide reef managers and users with timely and appropriate information to assist them in the management and conservation of nearshore reef systems, particularly with respect to the management of enhanced terrestrial run-off.