RRRD016 Progress Updates

November 2012

Science Summary:

-  A review of national and international water quality assessment frameworks has been undertaken to identify possible methods for developing a marine water quality metric for the MMP. Seven national and 5 international programs were selected as suitable for review, and similarities and differences with the MMP were documented. Five international programs were also reviewed with a focus on the procedures used for evaluating the eutrophic status of coastal and offshore waters and categories used for final classification. Recommendations from these reviews are captured in a project report and inform the selection of the preferred framework for this project.

-  The review showed that none of the current frameworks in international and national programs were suitable for the GBR, so a hierarchical integration approach is being devised. Accordingly, statistical procedures to compare and then integrate the different WQ data types into an overall WQ assessment were investigated.

-  A test data set is being used to trial the proposed statistical methods for the temporal and spatial aggregation. The test data comprises measurements of Chlorophyll a and Total Suspended Solids recorded by all four methods (remote sensing, fixed data loggers, regular ambient in situ sampling, and event-based in situ sampling) in the Wet Tropics region during the 2010-11 reporting year (i.e. between May 2010 and April 2011).This includes ways of augmenting the low data availability from satellite data during the wet season by using data collected during the wet season characterization fieldtrips.

Progress Update:

-  All milestones have been completed in line with contractual expectations.

-  The first meeting with end-users was held in May 2012 and provided the team with feedback on the progress of the framework; a second meeting was held in November 2012.