Beauty is in the eye of the Reef Health

Monitoring the aesthetic, natural beauty and values of a reef has the potential to provide information on the health of the reef, particularly in areas where ecological monitoring is not possible. … Read More

July 2020 e-newsletter

The July edition of “View on TWQ”  is now online and can be found here.

Very strong motivation for local-scale reef stewardship

Traditional Owners, citizen scientists and major reef tourism operators are motivated to restore and maintain coral ecosystems at their own sites, not just for economic or cultural reasons but also … Read More

Aesthetics Long-Term Monitoring Program for the Great Barrier Reef

A new report on designing an Aesthetics Long-Term Monitoring Program for the Great Barrier Reef has been released by NESP TWQ Hub. “Monitoring of aesthetic values can potentially serve as … Read More

Joint Media Release: Crown of Thorns Starfish control secured

13 July 2020 The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment The Hon Warren Entsch MP, Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef Contracts worth $28.6 million have been … Read More

Coral-eating starfish juveniles thrive in coral rubble

Researchers have recently closed some key knowledge gaps in understanding of the early stages of the coral-eating starfish’s lifecycle. Little was previously known of the species’ juvenile life. As part of … Read More

Total light exposure affects coral growth rates

Research has shed new light on how interruptions to benthic photosynthetically active radiation (bPAR) – the amount of usable light reaching the seafloor – affects the health and growth of … Read More

How to help Indigenous-led Great Barrier Reef tourism grow

The wide demand for Indigenous-led Great Barrier Reef tourism can be developed into successful businesses that benefit their communities with the right support, according to a report from the Tropical … Read More

Upwellings of cooler water make the difference in mass bleaching events

Advanced 3D modelling by the Tropical Water Quality Hub has indicated that upwellings of cool water on the Great Barrier Reef can protect corals from the temperature stress that causes … Read More

Ecologically informed framework for COTS management

A new decision-making framework developed by the NESP Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ) is underpinning the approach of the expanded Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Control Program to protect the Great Barrier Reef … Read More

Trust and technology: Tracking down sources of nitrate in the Great Barrier Reef catchment

The close trust frameworks built between farmers and scientists have enabled a large sugarcane farmer in Far North Queensland to track down a source of nitrogen entering the waters of … Read More

Exploring the toxicity of ‘alternate’ pesticides on the Great Barrier Reef

Over 50 different pesticides can be detected in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), yet most research is directed at only five Photosystem-II (PSII) chemicals. The purpose of Project … Read More

Investigating ‘contaminants of emerging concern’ on the Great Barrier Reef

Tropical Water Quality Hub scientists have identified critical knowledge gaps for a number of contaminants entering into the marine waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and Torres Strait. These … Read More

Finding out when dredging starts damaging coral

Cutting-edge underwater monitoring technology has enabled researchers working on a NESP TWQ project to develop models to help decision-makers assess the risk posed to inshore corals by port dredging. The project … Read More

Fight on to save coastal ecosystems

Key points: The UN has declared the 2020s to be the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration Coastal ecosystems have been damaged over many decades and even centuries in some cases Restoring … Read More

Unknown risk from contaminants flying under the radar on Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait

Scientists have identified critical knowledge gaps for a number of contaminants entering into the waters of Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait. These contaminants originate from a wide range of … Read More

Social media offers vast data set of attitudes to support decision-making

Tropical Water Quality Hub researchers are employing Big Data and artificial intelligence approaches to develop and test methods of analysing thousands of social media posts with the potential to turn … Read More

How best to reach land managers who aren’t changing behaviour for water quality improvement?

Behaviour change for best practice amongst land managers in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchment is critical to improving quality of the water flowing out to the GBR. However, decades … Read More

Building trust with farmers and demonstrating water quality outcomes for on-farm decision-making

Northern Queensland’s thriving coastal agricultural system poses major water quality problems for the Great Barrier Reef, especially when it comes to the high levels of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) found … Read More

January 2020 e-newsletter

The January edition of “View on TWQ”  is now online and can be found here.

How much light should reach the sea floor? Using benthic light as a water quality indicator

Benthic photosynthetically active radiation (bPAR¸ light that reaches the sea floor), is critical to the health of coastal marine environments including coral reefs and seagrasses, and may serve as an … Read More

Restoring sea country: Tropical Water Quality Hub helps Traditional Owners attend restoration workshop at Orpheus Island

A workshop at tropical Orpheus Island has provided the latest techniques and tips on coral reef restoration and leadership to Great Barrier Reef managers, tourism operators and Traditional Owners. James Cook … Read More

What kind of gully is that? A proposed classification framework for a major source of GBR sediment

Sediment sourced from gully erosion in Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchments represents a major threat to the health the reef. Gullies occur in all shapes and sizes, and while governments are … Read More

Impacts of Spearfishing on the Great Barrier Reef

Direct observations of spearfishers can provide a valuable source of information on reef health, which can be used to inform best-management practices. Dr. Wolfe and Professor Mumby from the University … Read More

‘Turning off’ gully erosion for improved Great Barrier Reef water quality

Gullies that start on the steep banks of rivers and cut into terraces or elevated floodplains (alluvial gullies) are a major factor affecting the water quality of the Great Barrier … Read More

Think climate change means less Irukandji jellyfish? Don’t count on it

Climate change is unlikely to cause many problems for a sometimes lethal species of box jellyfish that frequents northern Australian waters, according to research supported by the Tropical Water Quality Hub. Professor … Read More

September 2019 e-newsletter

The September edition of “View on TWQ”  is now online and can be found here.

The 2019 Reef Leadership and Reef Restoration Workshop at Orpheus Island Research Station from 15-18 Nov 2019 will be a great opportunity to share knowledge and increase skills. Click on … Read More

What’s eating Crown of Thorns? How Tropical Water Quality Hub is answering questions on a coral-eating predator

Research spanning multiple fields and institutions is filling knowledge gaps on the factors affecting outbreaks of the coral-eating Crown of Thorns Starfish (CoTS) on the Great Barrier Reef under a … Read More

Gully symposium brings erosion ‘brains trust’ to Southern Hemisphere for first time

Erosion from gullies is a major source of sediment impact on the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. Mitigating this erosion is therefore key to improving water quality in Australia’s tropical marine ecosystems. … Read More

Innovative technology is saving water and helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef

By applying the right amount of water, at the right time, in the right crop, to match that crop’s requirements, sugar growers can save water and deliver significant benefits to … Read More

How to maintain a functioning Great Barrier Reef

Some species or species groups may be more important than others in helping the Great Barrier Reef function and continue to provide its ecosystem services. Identifying these species is a crucial … Read More

400 tonnes of coral bommies returned to the Reef after a cyclone

When Cyclone Debbie hit the Whitsunday Islands in 2017, it dislodged the massive Porites boulder corals that dot the popular dive site Manta Ray Bay, moving them up into the … Read More

Master Reef Guides supported by NESP research

NESP Tropical Water Quality Hub research is continuing to feed into the Master Reef Guides program. These expert communicators convey the wonder, fragility and interconnections of the Great Barrier Reef, … Read More

Collaboration is sweet

An interactive map recently released by Australian sugar cane industry peak body Canegrowers shows over a decade of collaboration between the industry and Great Barrier Reef research, including multiple Tropical … Read More

New paper shows nutrients play vital roles in coral bleaching

Key Points Coral bleaching involves the break-up of symbiosis between corals and their algal partners and has resulted in rapid and severe reductions to coral cover and recruitment on the … Read More

‘Reef grief’ highlights need for renewed effort to protect and heal Great Barrier Reef

Research delivered through NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub (the predecessor to NESP TWQ) has illustrated the role played by emotive media coverage of the mass bleaching events on the Great Barrier … Read More

Indigenous rangers trained in managing mangroves on their country

Healthy mangrove forests play a vital role to maintaining the quality of water flowing out to the Great Barrier Reef, and Traditional Owners have a strong interest in helping monitor … Read More

Working with Traditional Owners to monitor mangrove health

Working with Tropical Water Quality Hub researchers, Bundaberg-based indigenous ranger group Gidarjil Development Corporation has built its capacity to monitor and manage the health of mangrove ecosystems within the Port … Read More

RRRC partners with local tour company to show reef recovery to decision-makers

Decision-makers involved in the Australian government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP) saw the recovery of corals on the Great Barrier Reef first-hand last week courtesy of a local tourism operator. … Read More

June 2019 e-newsletter

The June edition of “View on TWQ”  is now online and can be found here.

River Plans Revealed

First published in The Cairns Post, Friday 7th June 2019 A BOLD new plan for water quality in the Russell River has been unveiled – and itʼs causing plenty of … Read More

Uncovering the ocean floor of the Great Barrier Reef in greater detail than ever before

A highly detailed 3D map of the Great Barrier Reef seafloor produced under the Tropical Water Quality (TWQ) Hub is being widely used by the marine science community. Working with … Read More

Project Leaders workshop to emphasise synthesis and engagement with stakeholders

Now in its fourth year, the Tropical Water Quality (TWQ) Hub is at a critical stage for the synthesis and delivery of its world-class innovative research into practical solutions for … Read More

eAtlas: All the data at your fingertips

The eAtlas is an online repository for information on northern Australia’s tropical and marine environments. The eAtlas, which is currently supported by the Tropical Water Quality (TWQ) Hub, hosts over … Read More

Wetlands: Values and opportunities

A journal article on wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchments has shown that the value of these aquatic systems extends far beyond just their role in water quality. The … Read More

The human dimension of improving Reef water quality: a baseline of landholder attitudes

Tropical Water Quality Hub research on the attitudes of farmers and other landholders has been used by the Queensland government to help managers of the Great Barrier Reef track progress … Read More

Investigating Burdekin flood plume on Great Barrier Reef

After heavy rains in northern Queensland during February, the Burdekin River released a large plume of sediment-laden floodwater out to the midshelf Great Barrier Reef, an event which received major … Read More

TWQ research used to set global restoration challenge

A review of coral restoration methods by Tropical Water Quality Hub researchers has helped set the parameters for one of the world’s most high-profile challenges with millions of dollars up … Read More

Research Impact: Tackling water quality threats to the Great Barrier Reef

Catchment runoff carrying loads of nutrients and sediments is a major threat to the health of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). About 900,000 dump trucks of dirt flows out to … Read More

Indigenous groups and cane farmers increasingly confident in NESP research

The Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ) Hub has helped Jaragun NRM, an Aboriginal small business south of Cairns, demonstrate the effectiveness of their Babinda Swamp Constructed Wetland project. The project … Read More

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

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 … Read More

Research on seagrass light thresholds guides port development

Research on the levels of light needed to sustain seagrass communities is being applied in infrastructure development in rapidly-growing coastal communities in Australia’s north. Seagrass meadows are a vital yet … Read More

Jellyfish ‘early warning system’ to help avoid deadly stingers in FNQ

Stings from venomous box jellyfish common in tropical waters are highly painful and can be fatal. The ability to predict when higher concentrations of jellyfish – known as ‘smacks’ – … Read More

Wetland evaluation helps Indigenous business outcomes

In 2012, in an effort to combat invasive plant species on wetlands on their Country near Ingham, Mungalla Aboriginal Corporation, owned by the Nywaigi Traditional Owners, removed an earthen bund … Read More

Community group building better wetlands with TWQ Hub research

A constructed wetland project in Far North Queensland is more effectively improving quality of the water heading out to the Great Barrier Reef thanks to its involvement with Tropical Water … Read More

Evaluating the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef

Australians help science by identifying what truly makes the Great Barrier Reef ‘beautiful’. Environmental managers of the Great Barrier Reef will benefit from new research led by CSIRO that identifies … Read More

Defining seagrass health for reef management

Major flood events in North Queensland (such as those that recently hit Townsville and other communities) can send massive flood plumes out toward the Great Barrier Reef. These flood plumes … Read More

Research Plan Version 5 released

The fifth round of Tropical Water Quality (TWQ) Hub research projects builds on successful world-class research on factors affecting water quality in Australia’s northern marine ecosystems, including the Great Barrier … Read More

Why we don’t know if Irukandji jellyfish are moving south

Reports that Irukandji jellyfish might be moving south may be panicking people unnecessarily. It’s almost impossible to tell where the tiny jellyfish are along our coast, but that could change … Read More

It’s jellyfish season in Tropical North Queensland

It’s jellyfish season in Tropical North Queensland, and being able to forecast sting risk for one of the world’s most venomous creatures is one key part of creating a robust … Read More

January 2019 e-newsletter

Hello and Happy New Year from the NESP TWQ Hub! The first “View on TWQ” for 2019 is now online and can be found here.

Which corals survive mass bleaching events?

A Tropical Water Quality Hub research project led by Dr Line Bay at the Australian Institute for Marine Science is focused on the genetic characteristics of corals that have survived … Read More

Pigs shut out of critical Queensland wetlands

James Cook University researchers are assessing how much conservation value can be gained from a simple fence. Dr Nathan Waltham from JCU’s Centre for Tropical Water & Aquatic Ecosystem Research … Read More

May 2018 e-newsletter

Hello from the NESP TWQ Hub! The latest Hub news is now online and can be found in the May 2018 edition of “View on TWQ”.

NESP TWQ Project 3.1.2 James Cook University grower tour

Dr Yvette Everingham from the National Environmental Science Program and Steve Attard from Agritech Solutions show cane farmers from across Queensland around the Internet of Things demonstration paddock at James … Read More

NESP Science Day

A NESP Science Day is to be held in Townsville on Monday 20th November, with presentations from many of the Tropical Water Quality research project leaders. To find out more … Read More

October 2017 e-newsletter

Find out what’s going on within the Hub in the October edition of “View on TWQ”, online to view now.

Tweet streams: how social media can help keep tabs on ecosystems’ health

  Social media posts, such as this image uploaded to Flickr, can be repurposed for reef health monitoring. Sarah Ackerman/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY   Susanne Becken, Griffith University; Bela Stantic, … Read More

July 2017 e-newsletter

Hello from the NESP TWQ Hub! The latest Hub news is now online and can be found in the July edition of “View on TWQ”.

March 2017 e-newsletter

Catch up with the latest Hub news in the March edition of “View on TWQ”, which is online now.

December 2016 e-newsletter

The December edition of “View From TWQ” is now online. Read more

An examination of the ability of coral geochemical records to reconstruct suspended sediment loads to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon

Stephen Lewis’s project “An examination of the ability of coral geochemical records to reconstruct suspended sediment loads to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon” (Project 1.3), has now produced its Final … Read More

Project 25 (2.1.7)

Monitoring and improving water quality in the runoff of sugar cane catchments in Far North Queensland is critical to protecting the health of the Great Barrier Reef.  

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

Andrew Brooks’s project “Reducing sediment sources to the Reef: testing the effectiveness of managing alluvial gully erosion” (Project 1.7), has now produced its Final Report and can be viewed here. … Read More

Improving historical estimates of abundance and distribution of dugongs and large green turtles in western and central Torres Strait

Helene Marsh’s project “Improving historical estimates of abundance and distribution of dugongs and large green turtles in western and central Torres Strait” (Project 3.2), has now produced two Final Reports. … Read More

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

Aaron Davis’s project “Sub-catchment scale monitoring, modelling and extension design to support reef water quality improvement” (Project 1.8), has now produced it’s Final Report, and can be viewed here. If … Read More

Round 3 Call for Research Proposals

The Tropical Water Quality (TWQ) Hub, established under the National Environmental Science Programme (NESP), is calling for proposals for research projects.  We are seeking proposals for projects of up to … Read More

Could ‘nitrogen trading’ help the Great Barrier Reef?

Among the increasing sums of money being pledged to help save the Great Barrier Reef is a federal government pledge to spend A$40 millionon improving water quality. The Queensland government has … Read More

Monitoring and reducing governance risks facing the GBR

Allan Dale’s project “Monitoring and adaptively reducing system-wide governance risks facing the GBR” (Project 3.11), has now produced it’s Final Report, and can be viewed here. If you want to … Read More

NESP TWQ Hub Research Plan 1 Project Outcomes

The NESP Tropical Water Quality Hub Research Plan 1 Project Outcomes Report can now be viewed here. This report provides a snapshot of the project outcomes from the TWQ Hub … Read More

Assessing the cumulative impacts of climatic disturbances on inshore GBR coral reefs, identifying key refuges and testing the viability of manipulative reef restoration

Geoff Jones’s project “ Assessing the cumulative impacts of climatic disturbances on inshore GBR coral reefs, identifying key refuges and testing the viability of manipulative reef restoration” (Project 2.1), has … Read More

Indigenous engagement critical for successful environment programs

Melissa George and Ro Hill’s project “Indigenous capacity building and increased participation in management of Queensland sea country” (Project 3.9), has now produced it’s Final Report, and can be viewed … Read More

Improving approaches for management of impacts on the GBR

Sven Uthicke’s project “Multiple and cumulative impacts on the GBR: assessment of current status and development of improved approaches for management” (Project 1.6), has now produced it’s Final Report, and … Read More

Identifying & prioritizing emerging contaminants in the GBR and Torres Strait marine environments

Frederieke Kroon’s project “Identification, impacts, and prioritization of emerging contaminants present in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait marine environments” (Project 1.10), has now produced it’s Final Report, and … Read More

Assessment of Key Dugong and Turtle Seagrass resources in North-west Torres Strait

Michael Rasheed’s project “Assessment of key dugong and turtle seagrass resources in the northern Torres Strait” (Project 3.5), has now produced it’s Final Report, and can be viewed here. If … Read More

Integrated pest management of crown-of-thorns starfish on the GBR

David Westcott’s project “Establishing the future NESP CoTS research framework including an ecologically-based approach to the management of CoTS at multiple scales” (Project 1.1), has now produced it’s Final Report, … Read More

Investments in riparian management in the GBR catchments

Rebecca Bartley’s project “Developing an approach to evaluate the effectiveness of investments in riparian management in the GBR catchments” (Project 1.2), has now produced it’s Final Reports, Part A can … Read More

Light thresholds for seagrasses of the GBR

Catherine Collier’s project “Light thresholds for seagrasses of the GBR: a synthesis and guiding document for managing seagrass” (Project 3.3), has now produced it’s Final Report and can be viewed … Read More

A tradable permit scheme for cost-effective reduction of nitrogen runoff in the sugarcane catchments of the Great Barrier Reef – Final Report

Jim Smart’s project “A tradable permit scheme for cost-effective reduction of nitrogen runoff in the sugarcane catchments of the Great Barrier Reef” (Project 2.2), has now produced it’s Final Report … Read More

Benchmarking costs of improving agricultural water management in GBR catchments – Final Report

John Rolfe’s project “Benchmarking costs of improving agricultural water management in GBR catchments” (Project 3.10), has now produced it’s Final Report and can be viewed here. If you want to … Read More

Developing and refining biological indicators for condition assessments in an integrated monitoring program – Final Report

Catherine Collier’s project “Developing and refining biological indicators for seagrass condition assessments in an integrated monitoring program” (Project 3.4), has now produced it’s Final Report and can be viewed here. … Read More

Tropical Water Quality Hub’s diverse Steering Committee

The Tropical Water Quality Hub’s diverse Steering Committee gives it a unique advantage. The quality of Australia’s tropical marine environments is critical to the health of natural icons like the … Read More

Project 3.1 Final Report

The Final Report for Rob Coles’s Project 3.1 is now online to view. Head over here to take a look. If you want to get more info about Project 3.1 … Read More

Project 3.6 Final Report

The Final Report for Mike Kingsford’s Project 3.6 is now online to view. Head over here to take a look. If you want to get more info about Project 3.6 … Read More

Greg Hunt Media Release

Read the full media release by The Hon. Greg Hunt MP about new Government funding of $4.8 to tackle gully erosion in Great Barrier Reef catchments here

Project 1.9 Final Report

The Final Report for Britta Schaffelke’s Project 1.9 is now online to view. Head over here to take a look. If you want to get more info about Project 1.9 … Read More

Project 1.5 Final Report

The Final Report for Romy Greiner’s Project 1.5 is now online to view. Head over here to take a look. If you want to get more info about Project 1.5 … Read More

Project 3.8 Final Report

The Final Report for Prue Addison’s Project 3.8 is now online to view. Head over here to take a look. If you want to get more info about Project 3.8 … Read More

Project 3.7 Final Report

The Final Report for Hugh Sweatman’s Project 3.7 is now online to view. Head over here to take a look. If you want to get more info about Project 3.7 … Read More

‘A line of dump trucks from Perth to Sydney and back again’

Scientists say the federal and Queensland governments will not meet their international commitments aimed at rescuing the Great Barrier Reef unless they urgently tackle soil run-off. Dr Andrew Brooks from … Read More

Solution at hand for saving Great Barrier Reef

Our team from Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute has identified thousands of hectares of rapidly eroding gullies in the rivers that feed fine sediment into the waters of the ailing … Read More

Greg Hunt & Warren Entsch Media Release

Read the full media release by The Hon. Greg Hunt MP and The Hon. Warren Entsch MP about the launch of the Australian Government funded NESP TWQ Hub here

New $32 million research hub aims to improve Great Barrier Reef water quality

A NEW brains trust has been recruited to reverse poor water quality on the Great Barrier Reef, and to help protect the natural asset’s $5.2 billion tourism industry. Environment Minister … Read More

NESP TWQ Hub Launch

Today the NESP TWQ Hub was officially launched by the Hon. Greg Hunt, Minister of the Environment at the Deeral Boat Landing. Amongst those also in attendance were the Hon. Warren Entsch, Member … Read More

Round 2 Funding Applications Open

Applications for NESP Tropical Water Quality Hub multi-year research proposals are open from 14 September 2015. The following documents should be referred to in completing a funding application proposal: Tropical … Read More