The future of the Great Barrier Reef: the water quality imperative

Brodie, Jon, Grech, Alana, Pressey, Bob, Day, John, Dale, Allan, Morrison, Tiffany, and Wenger, Amelia (2019) The future of the Great Barrier Reef: the water quality imperative. In: Wolanski, Eric, Day, John, Elliott, Mike, and Wenger, Amelia S., (eds.) Coasts and estuaries: The future. Elsevier, Kidlington, Oxon, UK, pp. 477-499.

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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is in severe ecological decline with, for example, large reductions in coral cover and dugong populations. The principal causes of the decline are associated with climate change effects and poor water quality. Poor water quality is due to increased loads of fine sediment, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and pesticides discharged to the GBR from agricultural sources on the GBR catchment. Management of agricultural practices, primarily in the two principal industries, sugarcane cultivation and rangeland beef grazing, has been in place for 9 years but progress has been slow and inadequate to meet water quality targets. Current water quality management plans are unlikely to reverse this situation largely due to reluctance on the part of the Australian Government to increase funding to the required level to achieve the targets, and a refusal to use existing laws to regulate farming. A number of recommendations, many of which have been suggested in previous analyses, are documented which could allow targets to be reached in the required timelines (i.e., by 2025).

Item ID: 53216
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-12-814003-1
Keywords: Terrestrial pollutant runoff; Coral reefs; Seagrass; Catchment management
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2020 21:58
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 100%
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