From exposure to risk: novel experimental approaches to analyze cumulative impacts

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Innovative approaches to analyzing cumulative impact on the health of the Great Barrier Reef’s ecosystems by the Tropical Water Quality (TWQ) Hub are providing key underpinning information for Great Barrier Reef managers of the world-famous coral reef. Multiple journal papers published under a NESP TWQ Hub Project led by Dr Sven Uthicke at the Australian Institute of Marine Science have been used by the Queensland Department of the Environment and Science’s Office of the Great Barrier Reef (OGBR)’s 2017 Scientific Consensus Statement, which provides the foundational scientific understanding of the Reef 2050 Plan. OGBR Senior Scientist Dr Rachel Smith said that the project’s outputs were helping address a high priority knowledge need on ‘combined impact of pressures on the resilience of Reef and coastal ecosystems’ identified in the Reef 2050 Water Quality Research, Development and Innovation Strategy. “We also anticipate that the outputs from this NESP project will be used in the future to guide our assessments of risk from poor water quality and aid management prioritization,” she said. Datasets from this project are also now accessible through the e-Atlas information portal.