Coral community and extent mapping of the Wide Bay-Burnett Coastal fringe project
Scheffers, S, Alquezar, R, Bunce, A & Boyd, WM 2008, Coral community and extent mapping of the Wide Bay - Burnett Coastal fringe project, Centre for Environmental Management, Central Queensland University, Gladstone, Qld.
The primary aim of this project is to identify and map areas of ecological importance within the Burnett Mary Regional Group's coastal management zone, namely mapping of inshore fringing coral reefs. The Objectives are: 1. Establish the location of significant fringing coral reefs within the coastal zone of the Wide Bay Burnett Coast between Hummock Hill Island and Burnett Heads 2. Identify significant reefs and relate this back to satellite/aerial imagery 3. Ground truth GIS mapping of reefs to identify dominant substrate types and life form categories e.g. hard or soft coral, growth form (e.g. branching, plate, massive), percent cover and algal cover 4. Estimate the health of the ecosystem at each of the mapped reefs (e.g. degree of bleaching if present, general aesthetics of the reef). 5. Provide recommendations to guide future directions with respect to management actions (i.e. onground works) and/or monitoring and evaluation Goals: • A technical report outlining the findings of the project • GIS layers (maps) outlining the extent of fringing reef habitat found along the Wide Bay Burnett coastline • Description of coral extent and estimated health (condition) within target areas • Identification of threats to coral biodiversity - e.g. tourism pressures Identification of key areas of coral habitat for future management action • On-ground capacity building within community groups • Development of collaborative relationships with other organisations, e.g. BMRG, GBRMPA,CSIRO, AIMS • Support for resource management in the future (e.g. the Wide Bay Coast Regional Coastal Management Plan) • Provide recommendations to guide future directions with respect to management actions (i.e. on-ground works) and/or monitoring and evaluation.