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A framework for coastal and estuarine resource condition assessment: Sharing resources and knowledge for better management


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Temby, N and Crawford, CM 2008 , A framework for coastal and estuarine resource condition assessment: Sharing resources and knowledge for better management.

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The development of a standardised means of collecting, analysing and presenting coastal and estuarine condition information has been identified as a key need for southern Tasmania. NRM South, in partnership with the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute (TAFI), has developed a Coastal and Estuarine Resource Condition Assessment (CERCA) framework for the Southern NRM Region of Tasmania.
The framework aims to improve the value and availability of coastal and estuarine water quality information. This will overcome the lack of data, and the limited exchange of information that currently exists.
The framework brings together a range of stakeholders – some of whom collect water quality data – who will all benefit from increased data accessibility and standard collection, collation and distribution methods.
The development of this project involved the development of a communication strategy, a review of existing data, an evaluation of the key values and threats, and identification of priority monitoring sites. This was followed by the selection of monitoring methods and an evaluation of stakeholder capacity to assist in the project implementation. Subsequently a number of partnerships were developed between the project and stakeholders, including community groups, local governments, industry bodies and state agencies. These partnerships have enhanced the capacity to collect, analyse and present water quality data.
A successful trial of the CERCA program has resulted in a number of significant outputs, including the determination of baselines for a number of indicators of environmental health, which in turn have allowed for the identification of preliminary trigger levels. These preliminary trigger levels can be used to determine the condition of estuaries and coastal waters, assist in planning and management decision-making, and act as alerts for further investigation. The trial has demonstrated the critical need for local data when establishing such benchmarks.
Data obtained from the trial have been placed in a centralised database that is widely accessible. These data have then been interpreted in a range of formats to suit the needs of individual stakeholders.
The overall outcome is better management of Tasmania’s water resources by having a standardised (and trialled) monitoring program for water quality, a single database that is readily accessible to all stakeholders, and an effective reporting mechanism to communicate water quality and resource condition information to stakeholders and managers.

Item Type: Report (Other)
Authors/Creators:Temby, N and Crawford, CM
Publisher: University of Tasmania
Additional Information:

Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, University of Tasmania 2008.

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