Report card shows continued progress in improving reef water quality

report-card-cover-finalThe latest Great Barrier Reef Report Card details some positive news but also identifies areas where more effort is needed.

Report Card 2015 assesses the reported results of Reef Water Quality Protection Plan actions up to June 2015.

It shows almost half the horticulture and grains land across the Great Barrier Reef catchments is already managed using best management practice systems, both scoring a C overall. However, more work is needed in the sugarcane and grazing industries which both scored a D reef-wide.

Modelling of pollutant load reductions resulted in a reduction in sediment of 12.3% and a reduction in pesticides of 33.7% which is more than halfway to the 2018 targets.

Inshore marine condition remained poor but coral and water quality improved from a D to C, in part due to some recent drier years. This gave the reef a chance to recover after a number of floods and tropical cyclones.

The marine results do not pick up the impacts from the worst coral bleaching event on record. More will be known about the results of this event in coming months and will be detailed in the next report card.

Everyone, not just farmers, need to play their part to improve water quality. Over the next 12 months, governments will be working with councils, industries and communities to identify actions they can take to improve water quality.

Report Card 2015 and more information about Reef Water Quality Protection Plan outcomes can be found on the www.reefplan.qld.gov.au website.