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Marine health monitoring to continue after funding boost

Monitoring of seagrass, coral, and water quality will continue to provide much needed data on local marine conditions thanks to new funding from Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Pty Ltd (DBCT P/L – Daly Bay) and Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure (DBI).

Daly Bay and DBI have signed on to fund the Southern Inshore Monitoring Program, providing $415,000 over three years, from July 2023 to June 2026.

Daly Bay Manager of Safety, Risk and Environment, Ricci Churchill said Daly Bay was excited to build on the success of the monitoring program to date and to further understand how local ecosystems are responding to changing pressures.

“To effectively look after our waterways and the environment around us, we first must understand what is happening in the local area,” she said.

“The Southern Inshore Monitoring Program provides us with the data needed to keep an eye on the health of the marine environment and inform management actions if necessary.

“As a founding member of the Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership, we are proud to have established this monitoring program and continue to support it in partnership with DBI. It shows what can be possible through the partnership and by investing in your local community.”

Ricci Churchill and Tim Ffrost standing on a beach with a copy of the Report Card
Ricci Churchill (Manager of Safety, Rick and Environment at Daly Bay) and Tim Ffrost (DBI Site Manager) are ready to learn more about the region's waterway health.

The Southern Inshore Monitoring Program was first established in 2017 to fill a crucial data gap in the region’s waterway health report card, which assesses the condition of freshwater, estuary, inshore and offshore environments. As the monitoring program has matured, scores for water quality, coral, pesticides and seagrass have been added.

DBI Site Manager Tim Ffrost said it was great to see the monitoring program fill data gaps over the years.

“Supporting the Southern Inshore Monitoring Program is an important part of DBI’s commitment to sustainability and connecting with community partnerships.

“With Dalrymple Bay Terminal located within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, we understand how vital it is to contribute to programs that help protect and preserve local waterways. Having a robust and reliable monitoring program is the first step in that management process.”

Seagrass in the Southern Inshore Zone
Seagrass beds in the Southern Inshore Marine Zone, October 2021. Credit: TropWater, James Cook University.

Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership Chair Julie Boyd said the Southern Inshore Monitoring Program was a key example of what could be achieved through collaboration.

“One of our aims is to continually improve our understanding of regional waterway conditions by developing and investing in new programs and with the support of Daly Bay and DBI we have done exactly that.

“This important marine health monitoring program brings immense value the Report Card and our understanding of local waterway conditions more broadly.

“We are very grateful to Daly Bay and DBI for their ongoing support and we look forward to working with them over the next phase of marine monitoring.”

Read more about the Southern Inshore Monitoring Program.

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