Reef Monitoring and Reporting

Protecting the reef through comprehensive water way and reef monitoring, reporting and early detection programs

Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program

 

The Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program (RIMReP) is a coordinated and integrated monitoring, modelling and reporting program for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), which:

 

  • Underpins the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan’s (Reef 2050 Plan) adaptive management approach, evaluating whether actions are on track to achieving targets;
  • Allows the early detection of trends and changes in the Reef’s environment;
  • Informs the assessment of key threats and future risks;
  • Enables timely management responses;
  • Ensures investments are focused on actions that will effectively deliver measurable results;
  • Informs annual report cards and the five-yearly Outlook Report;
  • Drives the coordination, alignment and integration of existing monitoring, modelling and reporting programs to capitalise on existing program investment, provide value for money, improve efficiency and avoid duplication of effort.

RIMReP is being developed collaboratively by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Queensland and Commonwealth governments, science, industry and community partners.

 

As part of its commitment to protect and improve the long-term health of the GBR, the Commonwealth Government is investing $8 million over four years to establish the monitoring and reporting program for the reef 2050 Plan. These funds will capitalise on existing investments and be used to leverage resources required to establish a fully functional program across the reef and catchment.

 

GBR partnerships for improved water quality and ecosystems

 

There are a number of regional partnerships across Queensland, particularly in the Great Barrier Reef catchment, which are monitoring our river ecosystems that feed to the reef. The partnerships are made up of representatives from government, agriculture, resources (including a number of QRC’s members), other commercial industry, tourism, research and community interests.

 

While not directly involved in river management, the partnerships develop report cards, which are designed to inform consideration of whether current management strategies are proving successful in maintaining the health of the regions’ river ecosystems and ultimately the Great Barrier Reef.

 

The Fitzroy Partnership for River Health has been in operation since 2012 and released its latest report card for 2014/15. The Fitzroy Basin received an overall B grade (good) in 2014-15 for aquatic ecosystem health across the eleven freshwater catchments and the estuary. Six freshwater catchments including Connors, Fitzroy, Lower Dawson, Upper Dawson, Nogoa and Theresa were awarded B grades with the estuary following suit and demonstrating good barramundi recruitment.

 

The Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership commenced in 2014 and released its first report card in 2015. In developing the first report card, it has become clear that far more data collection work and identification of key indicators needs to be undertaken. Based on the available data, the overall grades for the basins ranged between B (good) to D (poor) with the estuaries scoring similarly.

 

The Gladstone Healthy Harbours Partnership first started in 2012 and has released its latest report card for 2014/15. The Harbour recorded an overall A grade (very good) for water quality and sediment. The Partnership also released its report on Stewardship of the Harbour, which showed that industry undertakes a suite of comprehensive stewardship measures for the effective management of administration, operations, development and shipping.

 

As part of the monitoring component of Reef 2050 Plan and further use of investment funds, the Queensland Government will be looking to align all report card products being prepared by the regional partnerships. QRC will seek to support and assist government in the alignment process.

 

Beyond the partnerships, the Queensland Government has established Water Quality Improvement Plans and Healthy Waters Management Plans for target catchments across Queensland in an attempt to improve the health and condition of our waterways.

 

The Science behind the state of the Great Barrier Reef

 

The state of the GBR has been comprehensively analysed in recent years. Independent scientific studies, identified the major threats to the reef’s health as poor water quality from land-based activities, storms and cyclones, Crown of Thorns Starfish and climate change. See links below for the key documents underpinning GBR policy and decision making.