Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program

The Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP) was established in 2000, making it one of the first environmental monitoring and reporting programs in Australia.

The EHMP is a comprehensive and scientifically robust waterway monitoring program which provides a regional assessment of the health for each of South East Queensland’s major catchments, river estuaries and Moreton Bay zones.

Annually, the results are synthesised and communicated through the Healthy Land and Water Report Card.

Goals and Objectives

The objective of the Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP) is to enhance community quality of life by fostering stewardship to protect and restore waterway health.

This objective comprises three goals;

  1. Enhance community quality of life
  2. Fostering stewardship
  3. Restore waterway health

These goals reflect the elements of the Report Card, Environmental Condition Grade, Social and Economic Benefits Rating and actions.

“Enhance community quality of life by fostering stewardship to protect and restore waterway health.”

 

Goal 1: Enhance community quality of life

  • Improve and optimise community access, interaction and satisfaction with their use of waterways
  • Maintain/improve the economic benefit that waterways provide for commercial and recreational fishing
  • Maintain/improve the contribution of waterways in providing low-cost drinking water
  • Maintain/improve the economic benefit generated by recreation

Report Card Social and Economic Benefits Rating

The Report Card Social and Economic Benefits Rating calculates the communities’ connection and benefits they receive from their local waterways.

Through measuring this we are able to report on key issues the community faces enabling us to enhance community quality of life.

 

Goal 2: Fostering stewardship

  •    Maintain/improve the extent to which society is willing and able to behave in ways that protect and restore waterways (e.g. adoption of Best Management Practice)

Report Card Actions

The Report Card Actions describe the barriers and drivers for individuals and groups helping to protect and improve waterways; also how and where management actions should be applied, and their impact on waterway health.

 

Goal 3: Protect and restore waterway health

  • Maintain/restore key habitats (riparian, wetlands, seagrass, mangroves, coral)
  • Minimise sediments and nutrient inputs to waterways
  • Maintain/improve water quality
  • Maintain/restore functionality of key processes
  • Maintain/restore resilient and healthy aquatic communities

Report Card Environmental Condition Grade

The Report Card Environmental Condition Grade measures the water quality, habitat and pollutants across all catchments in South East Queensland aiming to achieve optimal waterway health.

 

Methods

The EHMP uses a variety of methods to collect data for the Report Card including:

  • Field data and sampling across 274 monitoring sites in SEQ annually
  • Remote sensing
  • Models
  • Mapping
  • Community surveys
  • Economic assessments