Research to support the marine strategic assessment
We used the most up-to-date research to inform a comprehensive strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef Region and a program to guide the Reef’s management for the next 25 years.
Early in the strategic assessment process, it was identified that more data was needed to fill some key knowledge gaps and critical information requirements, and to address the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee.
The Department of the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority worked together to fund research to feed directly in to the strategic assessment and inform regional sustainability planning.
The research was funded under the Sustainable Regional Development program, which aims to secure a sustainable future for Australia’s high growth regional areas through regional sustainability planning and strategic assessments.
The funded projects build on the substantial research investment the Australian Government is making through the National Environmental Research Program Tropical Ecosystems Hub.
Regional Sustainability Planning Projects
- Economic contribution of the Great Barrier Reef: to update our understanding of the economic contribution that four reef based activities make to the Australian economy, including a detailed regional-scale analysis.
Understanding outstanding universal value
- Defining the aesthetic values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area: to identify and map aesthetic values of outstanding universal value and analyse the sensitivity of those values to particular impacts.
- Geological and geomorphological features of outstanding universal value in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area: to identify geological and geomorphological features of outstanding universal value that may not have been previously detailed and provide an overview of the pressures affecting those values.
Informing management of coastal development
- Improved dredge material management for the Great Barrier Reef Region: to provide improved information on which to base dredge spoil management decisions for the five major ports and one marina in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
- Improved Dredge Material Management for the Great Barrier Reef Region - Interpretive statement of findings and management implications of the technical reports for the Great Barrier Reef Strategic Assessment.
- Identification of impacts and proposed management strategies associated with offshore ship anchorages in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area: to identify current and potential future environmental impacts of offshore anchoring for the five major ports in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and potential management options.
Cumulative impact management and integrated monitoring
- Great Barrier Reef coastal ecosystems assessment framework: to examine ecosystem services provided by coastal ecosystems in seven basins, impacts (present, past and future), and identification of areas important for protection or restoration.
- Great Barrier Reef resilience decision framework: to develop a qualitative framework for understanding cumulative impacts on the resilience of coral reef and seagrass ecosystems to inform decision making in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
- Integrated monitoring framework for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area: to establish a framework for a standardised and integrated ecological, social and economic monitoring program to address critical information needs, align existing monitoring programs and provide a baseline for assessing the condition of values and effects of pressures, as well as the impact on those values.
If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.
The Great Barrier Reef is a hive of activity. If you're lucky enough to see a humpback whale from May to September, make sure you keep a safe distance.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing plants, animals and habitats. There are a range of tourism experiences on offer.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this Great Australian icon.
If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL
(1300 264 625)
A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.
Current Conditions: Environmental and climatic forecasts for the Great Barrier Reef