The Tropical Ecosystem Hub goes to Canberra

The Tropical Ecosystem Hub goes to Canberra

Five TE Hub researchers, Reef Rescue R&D staff and Science Leader, Dr Peter Doherty, recently travelled to Canberra to discuss their water quality, pesticides and seagrass research and its impact on government policy.

Workshops were held over two days (21st to the 22nd of May 2013), hosted by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC). The audience included representatives from GBRMPA, DAFF, and many sections within SEWPaC, including NERP, GBR Strategic Assessment, Water Quality Policy, Chemical Assessment and Wetlands.

Recent findings were outlined, with discussion between managers and researchers exploring the implications of the results and how these might affect broader guidelines, standards and State of Environment processes.

Key water quality issues were summarised in an overview presentation given by Michelle Devlin (RRRC Ltd) and in Reef Plan Scientific Consensus statement and crown of thorns starfish (COTS) updates presented by Jon Brodie (TropWATER). All presentations discussed current water quality threats, including changing pollutant loads, increased sedimentation and links between degraded water quality and crown of thorn outbreaks. Relationships were also examined between changing inshore reefs, seagrass ecosystems and extreme weather, where increasing intensity of weather events are an additional stress on GBR ecosystems.

The need for synthesis of findings across research projects was also discussed, as was engagement in a range of targeted communication approaches for transferring and applying new knowledge.


Links to each of the e-Newsletter workshop highlights articles can be found below:

Update on Scientific Consensus Statement and GBR Risk Assessment - Jon Brodie, Jane Waterhouse

Herbicides in the GBR: Research Overview - Andrew Negri, Stephen Lewis

Seagrass Overview - Catherine Collier, Michelle Waycott, Len McKenzie, Michelle Devlin

Freshwater and mangrove habitats: issues in GBR catchments and the Torres Strait - Damien Burrows

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