Time for direct intervention on the Reef as Round 4 approaches
Research underpinning active interventions that will help the will be a focus of TWQ’s next call for research proposals in July. This will be in addition to maintaining commitment to the Hub’s ongoing efforts to monitor and improve GBR water quality.
Hub leader Damien Burrows said the ‘science was clear’ on mounting threats to the health of the GBR, and the Tropical Water Quality Hub’s Steering Committee, which met in Cairns on June 23, recognised the need for direct interventions on the GBR.
“There has definitely been a change in thinking: these disturbances, such as the mass bleaching episodes and recent cyclones, will get more frequent and the GBR will require assistance to speed up recovery during the predicted shorter time periods between major disturbances, so targeted direct interventions will be needed to prevent further decline,” Prof Burrows said.
“At the recent high level expert workshops that TWQ Hub staff have been involved with – the Reef Summit in May, the Independent Expert Panel for the Reef 2050 Plan – there is an increased appetite for direct interventions. This idea also has very high support from the tourism industry.”
“What’s also important to remember is that nobody is abandoning the Hub’s original activities including top-level water quality research and management. We will still be committed to these projects.”
Prof Burrows said there was up to $4.9 million still available in the NESP TWQ Hub budget for projects up to three years in duration in Round 4.