Eye on the Reef Program
GBRMPA, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) work together to collect valuable information about reef health and the protected and iconic species on the Great Barrier Reef.
The Long Term Monitoring Program (LTMP), run by AIMS, provides baseline and trend information on coral reef condition across the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (the Marine Park).
Reef users and community members also play a vital role in helping to keep an eye on the reef and reporting back what they see. GBRMPA use this information to help manage the long term health of the reef, and to inform documents such as the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report. In return, GBRMPA provides training materials, as well as regular feedback and updates to participants about the status of the Reef.
Eye on the Reef
GBRMPA, in conjunction with the QPWS, run the Eye on the Reef Program, an umbrella project which includes several monitoring and assessment methods.
The Eye on the Reef Program provides status snapshots and early warning information on water quality, the presence of protected and iconic species and the health of the Reef. This information is gathered by GBRMPA and QPWS staff in partnership with a range of stakeholders, such as tourism operators, reef visitors, fishers and the broader community.
The Eye on the Reef Program collects information through various methods including:
- Sightings Network
- Eyes and Ears Incident Reporting Network
- Rapid Monitoring
- Reef Health and Impact Surveys
- Tourism Weekly Monitoring
The information collected is combined in a data management system to produce a Reef-wide picture of ecosystem health. GBRMPA uses this information to map and assess the impacts of incidents on the Marine Park such as cyclones, flood plumes, coral bleaching, coral disease and crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks under the Reef Health Incident Response System.
The Great Barrier Reef belongs to everyone. Reporting your observations of the Reef provides data which improves our knowledge of Reef ecosystem resilience and the risks to that resilience. A better long-term understanding of Reef impacts and ecosystem function aids the development of actions to support Reef resilience under a changing climate.
You too can be part of the solution, by getting involved in a number of different ways through the Eye on the Reef program. Whether you can only spare 5 minutes, or have more time to complete regular surveys, even a small contribution is useful, and the more you contribute, the more useful it is.
To start, use the table below to match the time you have available to the time commitments needed to accurately complete each type of survey. The Eye on the Reef Program has built upon feedback from Marine Park rangers, researchers, tourism operators, fishers and community members. It is designed to help build knowledge and understanding of the Reef as you work your way through the steps of the program. For further information or feedback about the program please send us an email.
|Ways you can keep an Eye on the Reef||Time needed to complete survey/report||Training requirement|
|Sightings Network||5 minutes||None|
|Eyes and Ears Incident Reporting||5 minutes||None|
|Rapid Monitoring Survey||10-15 minutes||Minimal - completion of online Reef Health training modules recommended.|
|Reef Health and Impact Surveys (RHIS)||10-15 minutes||Minimum 2-3 hours self-paced on line training, plus at least one in-water training day for those undertaking RHIS on an occupational basis.|
|Tourism Weekly Monitoring||30 minutes set aside on a weekly basis||Quarterly training workshops, including at least one in-water training day and customised reports.|
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