Report

Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan: Report card 2016

3 Oct 2017
Description

Report Card 2016 assesses the reported results of Reef Water Quality Protection Plan 2013 actions up to June 2016.

Results show progress in some areas; however, faster uptake of improved land management practices is required to meet the water quality targets.

Not all activities undertaken during the reporting period are included so results are considered a conservative estimate of progress.

Key messages:

- Better targeting of investment helped farmers make the most effective land management practice changes.

- For the first time, grains were reported in the Burnett Mary with 74% of land managed using best management practice systems.

- Modelled annual average loads of dissolved inorganic nitrogen reduced by 5.5% to 25.5% in the Burdekin as a result of improved nitrogen and irrigation management by sugarcane growers. Improvements were delivered through the first Reef Trust Reverse Tender, funded by the Australian Government and facilitated by NQ Dry Tropics, and the RP20 Burdekin Nitrogen Project, funded by the Queensland Government and facilitated by Sugar Research Australia.

- Modelled annual average loads of sediment reduced by 4.1% to 9.6% in the Fitzroy as a result of targeted investment in streambank protection. This included 117 graziers receiving funding through the Australian Government’s Reef Program to improve their land management practices.

- For the first time, the state of and pressures on wetland environmental values are reported across the Great Barrier Reef. Overall, wetlands are in moderate condition.

- Overall inshore marine condition was moderate in 2015–2016 with increased confidence in the result due to an improved water quality metric.

- Coral bleaching and mortality is highly variable across the Great Barrier Reef with inshore coral reefs south of the Daintree (Wet Tropics) in moderate condition in 2015–2016. Corals in the northern region between Port Douglas and the tip of Cape York were most affected by the 2016 coral bleaching.

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