Program Design

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Report cards have become an increasingly utilised communication tool for aquatic ecosystem
health monitoring programs in Australia and around the world.

They enable complex, systematically collected, scientific information from multiple sources to be summarised
and communicated in a way that facilitates broad understanding and encourages discussion. The pilot report
card used the best available independent science, including results from more than $4 million of existing regional
monitoring programs. It integrated a range of datasets from the upper catchments, through the estuaries,
to inshore and offshore marine water quality.

The 2015 Program Design has been prepared by the Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership’s Technical Officer with support from the Technical Working Group. It was reviewed and endorsed by the  Healthy River to Reef Partnership and the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan Independent Science Panel (ISP). It is specific to the region and has been created as a framework to guide the development of the report card, with technical reports providing further support.

Information on the region, potential data sources, linkages with other programs, and reporting zones for the
2015 report card are all contained within the Program Design 2015. The document details the indicators and indicator
categories that will be used to report on the environmental condition of freshwater basins, estuaries, inshore
and offshore marine environments, and the social, economic, and cultural indicators and indicator categories.