The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are multiple connections between it and surrounding areas including the Coral Sea, the Torres Strait and Great Sandy Strait.
These connections include the movement of water, species and energy, and can have major effects across jurisdictions. They need to be understood and considered for policy and planning decisions that relate to all these connected marine ecosystems.
NESP Tropical Water Quality Hub Project 3.3.3, headed by Johanna Johnson from James Cook University, has been successful in identifying 10 components of values composed of 62 attributes, which can be used to identify connections between jurisdictions. Information on the connections of values will be available in the eAtlas online information portal, available at http://eatlas.org.au.
Potential end-users that have already expressed interest in using some of the visualisations of connections include Parks Australia, who manage the Coral Sea Marine Park which extends eastward beyond the entire GBR outer boundary and covers an area nearly three times the size of the GBRMP. Understanding the ecological, cultural, social and economic connections between the GBR and Coral Sea is very important to effectively manage both marine parks.