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Reef water quality protection plan, bob speirs
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Reef water quality protection plan, bob speirs



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  • 1. The Great Barrier Reef• World heritage area• 2300 km along the Queensland coast• 2900 reefs plus seagrass meadows, mangroves and other habitats
  • 2. ThreatsClimate change Shipping Coastal development Point source pollution Plus …
  • 3. Diffuse source pollution from agriculture • Big catchment (½ million km2) • Highly variable climate • Flood events.
  • 4. Background• 2008 Updated Scientific Consensus Statement on Reef water Quality• Indicates ongoing nutrient, sediment & pesticide impacts mainly from agriculture• Most coral loss due to dissolved inorganic nitrogen mainly from cane fertiliser• New threat from GHG emissions: ocean warming and acidification
  • 5. Reef Water Quality Protection Plan• Joint initiative of the Queensland and Australian Governments• Focuses on diffuse source pollution• Provides the policy framework and a funding commitment.
  • 6. Reef Plan goals and targets• Landholders adopt improved land management practices• Catchment targets: o No net loss of wetlands o Riparian extent and condition improved o Groundcover maintained.• Water quality load reduction targets No detrimental impact on Great Barrier Reef health and resilience.
  • 7. Reef Plan Targets 80% of landholders Achieve a minimum of (sugarcane, horticulture, dairy,Management 50% dry season cotton and grains) adopted groundcover in the Dry Practices Tropics grazing lands improved soil, nutrient and chemical practices (cropping) 50% reduction in the Pollutant total nutrient and 20% reduction in sediment pesticide load at the Loads end of catchments by load at the end of catchments by 2020. 2013. Riparian / Condition and extent No net loss or of riparian areas will degradation of natural Wetlands have improved wetlands
  • 8. Paddock to Reef ProgramObjectives: To measure and report on progress towards the Reef Plan goals and targets Use multiple lines of evidence Highly collaborative! Need to measure change in the short term.
  • 9. Industry RBs CSIRO DEEDI DERM DERM GBRMPA Reporting - DPC
  • 10. Lines of EvidenceAdoption of Practice Water Quality EcosystemPractices Effectiveness Reductions Outcomes (Catchment monitoring (Marine monitoring Simulations and modelling) program) Land Use Sub- basin Basin Plot Bare Ground Index Paddock
  • 11. ‘Paddock to Reef’ approach Multiple lines of evidence and integration• Practice adoption monitoring• Mapping and remote sensing – Wetland extent – Riparian cover – Groundcover.• Monitoring and modelling – Paddock water quality – Sub catchment and end of the catchment water quality – Great Barrier Reef water quality and ecosystem health.
  • 12. Reef Monitoring & ModellingBananas Cane Grazing Cropping Horticulture
  • 13. Measuring pollutant exportrates from different farming practices – flume experiments
  • 14. Plot scale -Rainfall simulation
  • 15. Ground Cover IndexMean Groundcover 1988-2006 Groundcover estimated state-wide each year using Landsat at 25m resolution where FPC is less than 20% –High Cover Michael Schmidt –Low Cover Peter Scarth –FPC > 20% Kerry Speller
  • 16. Measuring sedimentexport from differentgrazing land pasture conditions
  • 17. Management Effectiveness Information Rainfall Transpiration for Paddock-based Models Plant Evaporation growthPredict results for different: – Climatic regions Runoff – Soils Sediment Soil water  Nutrients – Land uses (grazing, cropping) store – Management practices (ABCD) Drainage
  • 18. Catchment modelling Forecast and manage stream water quantity, quality & the effects of catchments on streams
  • 19. End of catchment monitoring
  • 20. Components monitored under the Marine Monitoring Program Inshore lagoon water quality Flood Monitoring Marine Biological monitoring (Coral and seagrass)
  • 21. GBR Marine MonitoringProgram Sites
  • 22. Water Quality Guidelines Integrating knowledge of WQ impacts on Reef Health National Queensland Reef(currently under revision) (updated 2009) (released 2009)
  • 23.
  • 24. Acknowledgements• Queensland Government agencies• Australian Government agencies• Regional NRM bodies• Industry groups• Research and development organisations • University of Maryland • CSIRO • AIMS / JCU / UQ. … AND MANY MORE …