Factors influencing the Region’s values
6.4.4 Implications of coastal development for regional communities
Coastal development can have a range of positive and negative effects on the social and economic values of the Region. The construction of coastal infrastructure such as marinas and boat ramps will improve access and is likely to increase the number of people that derive enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of the Region’s values through direct experience of the Region. It is also likely to cause increases in the economic value of Reef-dependent activities, for example by improving both tourism operators’ ability to access the Region and visitors’ ability to reach regional tourism nodes. Development of island resorts has the potential to provide greater access to the Region and to improve economic wellbeing of local communities by providing employment and income. It may be assumed, however, that the benefits of coastal development will only remain positive if the ecosystem services provided by adjacent terrestrial and island ecosystems are not diminished. For example, the clearing of coastal habitats and installation of artificial barriers to flow can have negative effects on the economic value of the Region’s fisheries.195,196 Barriers to flow can prevent some migrating fishes, such as barramundi197, from accessing their breeding grounds, potentially resulting in declines in fish replenishment and ultimately catch rates. Island resorts can also negatively affect social values, for example by disrupting established use patterns and affecting the aesthetic values of an area.
Access to the Region improves through development of coastal infrastructure.
Economic and social benefits depend on healthy coastal and marine ecosystems.
6.5 Land-based run-off
A range of land uses occur within the catchment (and on islands) (Section 6.4). Associated practices such as pest control, the application of fertilisers, stocking rates, stormwater and sewage management, and earthworks influence the quality and amount of freshwater that flows into the Region. Components of runoff known to affect the Region’s values include nutrients, sediments, pesticides and other pollutants such as heavy metals and plastic debris. Some land uses result in diffuse contributions, while others have a more point-source signature. While the contribution of pollutants from terrestrial point source discharges, such as mining and industrial releases, sewage, wastewater and stormwater, is relatively small compared to diffuse pollutant sources, discharges can be locally significant.73
6.5.1 Trends in land-based run-off