The Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership have announced monitoring of an additional inshore marine area to improve the picture of water quality and waterway health in our region. The southern inshore project commenced today using helicopters and remote camera systems to monitor seagrass meadows in the waters south of Mackay. Maintaining good water quality is vital to seagrasses and corals that rely on light reaching the seafloor in order to flourish in an important feeding ground for turtles and dugong.
This area is clearly important but up until now little regular monitoring information has been available for seagrass, coral and water quality. The work funded through the Partnership will provide the basis for ongoing assessments to ensure these areas are looked after into the future.
Undertaking this monitoring has been a priority for the Partnership for some time. It is a tangible outcome of what we can achieve when Partners work together. We identify the data gaps and then find a way to complete the picture over time. This fills a critical information gap on how the marine environment is going to inform annual report cards for the Mackay Whitsunday’s Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership from 2018.