The Report Card provides an assessment of the ecosystem health of South East Queensland’s waterways via A-F health grades. The release of the annual Report Card results is the culmination of twelve months of scientific monitoring at 312 freshwater, estuarine, marine and event monitoring sites throughout the region as part of the Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program, the EHMP.
The Report Card is designed around three key elements:
- Environmental Condition Grade (A-F): The spatial extent and intensity of pressures on waterways.
- Waterways Benefits Rating (1-5 stars): The social and economic benefits that the wider community associate with their waterways.
- Actions (recommendations): How and where management actions should be applied, and their impact on waterway health.
The Environmental Condition Grade is comprised of multiple indicators, assessing key freshwater and estuarine aspects of the waterways. Indicators are assessed against established guidelines and benchmarks, resulting in a single grade for each catchment or bay zone.
In 2015 the EHMP was revised to keep up with major advances in predictive modelling and automated monitoring. As part of this revision, the EHMP started incorporating assessments of freshwater and estuarine wetlands, forested areas along waterways, pollutant loads and the social and economic benefits that waterways provide to local communities, the Waterways Benefits Rating.
Each year, the results of the EHMP are also synthesised into targeted catchment summaries, providing partners with a list of recommendations and management actions to improve waterways.
Fostering partnerships to improve waterway health
The EHMP represents a coordinated effort to increase our collective understanding of the region’s waterways in order to drive investment and action to protect them. This has been achieved through the ongoing support of our membership network and partners including, state and local governments, utilities and industry, research and the community.
Extensive and ongoing communication are required to ensure the stakeholders and broader community embrace the actions needed to reach the shared vision for the region.