Improved understanding of the impacts, including cumulative impacts, and pressures on priority freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems and species

Research priorities:
  • Further development of a systematic approach to Crown of Thorns eradication. Identify and trial risk abatement, and prioritisation strategies in response to Crown of Thorns outbreaks, extreme events and biosecurity threats. Develop and implement a plan to reduce Crown of Thorn numbers by two million.
  • Develop practical improvements to land management practices that will influence behavioural change and improve outcomes for tropical water quality and ecosystem health.
  • Improve our knowledge of cumulative pressures on environmental and social values of the Great Barrier Reef to determine more effective management actions.
  • Improved information on ocean acidification through the Heron Island ocean acidification monitoring project.
  • Evaluate the practicalities of restoring connectivity to freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems and the resilience of dependent species.


Research projects:
Round 1

Project 1.1
Establishing the future NESP CoTS research framework including an ecologically-based approach to the management of CoTS at multiple scale

Project 1.2
Developing an approach to evaluate the effectiveness of investments in riparian management in the GBR catchments

Project 1.3
A validation of coral geochemical records to reconstruct suspended sediment loads to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon

Project 1.5
Legacy of the Lower Burdekin Water Quality Tender

Project 1.6
Multiple and cumulative impacts on the GBR: assessment of current status and development of improved approaches for management

Project 1.7
Reducing sediment sources to the Reef: testing the effectiveness of managing alluvial gully erosion

Project 1.8
Sub-catchment scale monitoring, modelling and extension design to support reef water quality improvement

Project 1.9
The establishment of a future NESP dredging research investment framework

Project 1.10
Identification, impacts, and prioritization of emerging contaminants present in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait marine environments


Round 2

Project 2.1.1
Integrated Pest Management of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish

Project 2.1.2
Scoping options for low-lying, marginal cane land to reduce DIN in priority wet tropics catchments

Project 2.1.3
Harnessing the science of social marketing and behaviour change for improved water quality in the GBR: an action research project

Project 2.1.4 
Demonstration and evaluation of gully remediation on downstream water quality and agricultural production in GBR rangelands

Project 2.1.5
What’s really damaging the Reef? Tracing the origin and fate of the environmentally detrimental sediment

Project 2.1.6
From exposure to risk: novel experimental approaches to analyse cumulative impacts and determine thresholds in the GBRWHA

Project 2.1.7
Engaging with farmers and demonstrating water quality outcomes to create confidence in on-farm decision-making

Project 2.1.8
Improved water quality outcomes from on-farm nitrogen management

Project 2.1.9 
Risk assessing dredging activities