Improving our knowledge of marine waters in the Southern inshore zone
The Southern Inshore Marine Zone extends from Cape Palmerston, south of Sarina, to Clairview Bluff and is one of four inshore marine zones included in the Report Card. The Southern Inshore Marine Zone is considered an important habitat for protected dugongs and green sea turtles which graze on seagrass beds found throughout the zone.
From 2014 to 2017 there was no data available for the Southern Inshore Marine Zone and the Partnership worked to establish a monitoring program as a priority to collect data on seagrass, coral and water quality including pesticides.
Our partner, Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Pty Ltd (DBCT P/L) funded the program in its entirety between 2017 and 2019, with Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure coming on board as a funding partner in 2019. Both DBCT P/L and DBI recently signed on to continue funding the project, securing the data collection until at least 2026. Their strong commitment to the program will ensure our understanding of waterway health in the Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Region continues to grow.
What is the data telling us?
With continued investment from both DBCT P/L and DBI, the Southern Inshore Monitoring Program is now well established with all indicators assessed across multiple years. We’ve summarised the key findings about coral, seagrass and water quality from the program to date in our Community Summary. More scientific detail about these findings is available in the Southern Inshore Monitoring Program Technical Report 2017-22.