The Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program (Paddock to Reef program) provides the framework for evaluating and reporting progress towards Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan (Reef 2050 WQIP) targets through the Reef water quality report card.
The program unites more than 20 industry bodies, government agencies, Natural Resource Management bodies, landholders and research organisations—working together to measure and report on water quality factors that impact Reef health.
Monitoring and modelling occurs across a range of attributes, from paddock scale through to sub-catchment, catchment, regional and Great Barrier Reef-wide. The Paddock to Reef program evaluates management practice adoption and effectiveness, catchment condition, pollutant runoff, and marine condition.
The objectives of the program:
- Monitor, interpret and report on water quality status and trends and related ecosystem health in the Great Barrier Reef.
- Report progress towards the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan targets, objectives and long-term outcome through the Reef water quality report card.
- Founded on principles of adaptive management and continuous improvement.
- Enable partners to evaluate, prioritise and continuously improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan delivery and implementation.
The Reef water quality report card measures progress towards the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan targets, objectives and long-term outcome. The information in these reports determines the success of actions and identifies whether further measures need to be taken to address water quality in the Great Barrier Reef.
The report card outlines results from the Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program.
Regional report card partnerships are one of a number of activities under the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan. These report cards are funded by both the Australian and Queensland governments, along with contributions from other partners. The partnerships that underpin these report cards represent local communities – Traditional Owners, industry, farmers, fishers, scientists, tourism operators, conservation groups and government at the various levels. All with a shared vision to improve the visibility and overall health of the waterways in their region.
There are five regional partnerships that produce report cards. These report cards are much like the average school report card that is, they assign rivers, creeks, dams, estuaries, reefs (inshore and offshore) and other marine areas with an A to E grade based on their annual environmental condition. The report card reports on a variety of environmental, social, cultural, economic, waterway health and stewardship indicators.
The Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac 2019 Report Card was released in July 2020. Results from the report card are showing that some inshore seagrass systems are starting to recover from severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie, demonstrating that ecosystem recovery takes time. Overall scores across the region ranged from D (poor) to B (good) for freshwater, estuary and marine areas. Pesticides continued to be the poorest scoring water quality indicator in both basins and estuaries, with the Proserpine and Plane basins scoring very poor.
For a deeper dive into these results and all report card data, check out our interactive report card page: https://healthyriverstoreef.org.au/report-card-results/
The Partnership is hosted in the Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Region by Reef Catchments Limited.