[ASC-media] Media Release: Science flows from Catchment to Reef

Chloe Lucas chloe.lucas at crcreef.com
Mon Mar 8 09:37:50 EST 2004

Australian Government, Australian Institute of Marine Science, CRC Reef Research Centre, James Cook University, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority




8 March 2004<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />



A three-day conference starting tomorrow will update scientists, managers and community groups about the latest water quality research in the Great Barrier Reef region.


According to Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Executive Director, Andrew Skeat, the three-day Catchment to Reef conference will provide a benchmark of current knowledge about water quality in the Great Barrier Reef region. "It will summarise our current understanding, as well as provide an update on methods being tested to improve regional water quality," Mr Skeat said.


The conference will also discuss the newer and smarter tools being developed to track improvements in water quality resulting from changing land-use practices.


According to CRC Reef researcher Jon Brodie from James Cook University, in the few years since scientists last met, there have been enormous advances in water quality research. "For example, we know much more about where nutrients and sediments are coming from, where they are flowing to, and their impacts on the Great Barrier Reef," he said. 


Under the joint Queensland and Australian Government Reef Water Quality Protection Plan, local communities and governments are working together towards halting the decline in water quality in the Great Barrier Reef region. The conference will help ensure that the measures taken are based on the most up-to-date information and methods possible.


Mr Ian Ballantyne, General Manager, Canegrowers, said that canegrowers welcome the opportunity for an update of new research at the conference. Agricultural industries such as cane growing continue to work with government initiatives to encourage adoption of best achievable management practices to improve farm profitability and sustainability. 


About 170 people will attend the three-day conference including: community representatives; managers from GBRMPA, Dept of Environment and Heritage, Qld Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Qld Environmental Protection Agency; and scientists from CRC Reef Research Centre, CSIRO, Australian Institute of Marine Science, James Cook University, The University of Queensland, The Australian Museum and Central Queensland University. 


The conference was organised by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, CRC Reef Research Centre, James Cook University, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Australian Museum. 


The conference 'Catchment to Reef: water quality issues in the Great Barrier Reef Region' will be held 9-11 March at Southbank Hotel, Palmer St, South Townsville. The opening address by Mr Andrew Skeat, Executive Director of GBRMPA, is at 8.50am Tuesday 9 March. Nominated spokespeople will be available for interview from 10.40-11.20am each day.


For more information contact:

Mr Chip Henriss-Anderssen, GBRMPA media liaison on 07 4750 0846 or 0408 180 760.

Ms Chloe Lucas, CRC Reef media liaison on 07 4729 8450 or 0408884521.

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