There are a range of values generated from citizen science projects, including scientific, educational, social and policy benefits. Alliance members are delivering benefits in all of these areas, providing notable benefits for people the Reef.
Tangaroa Blue data used for senate inquiry
Tangaroa Blue stands for picking up rubbish off the beach. At the other end of the spectrum it stands for ensuring governments understand what the data is clearly showing about rubbish and debris in our environment, and what needs to change to reduce rubbish ending up on the beach in the first place. Tangaroa Blue recently contributed to the NSW & QLD Ministerial Roundtable on plastic bags, and the Senate Inquiry into marine debris. These government opportunities offer a platform to present what 902 project partners and over 50,000 volunteers have been working on over the last 12 years: the overwhelming evidence of the issue highlighted through data collected and submitted into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database.
Mangrove Watch supporting GBR mangrove management
After the 2013 floods, many mangroves and saltmarsh habitats in the southern GBR catchments were damaged. 35% of the Burnett Rivers were severely damaged or lost in the 2013 floods. These critical habitats are now slowly recovering in some areas. Monitoring is important to understand recovery and set in place best-practice management approaches. MangroveWatch & TropWATER, James Cook University, have teamed up with Gidarjil Development Corporation, the Burnett Mary Regional Group for Natural Resource Management and Fitzroy Basin Authority for a new project funded by the Australian Government National Environmental Monitoring Programme (NESP), called the Southern GBR CHAMP (Coastal Habitat Archive and Monitoring Program). Our goal is to develop a Mangrove Management Plan for the Southern Great Barrier Reef region. The plan will manage local threats to mangroves and help prioritise investment in mangrove rehabilitation that improves water quality in Southern GBR estuaries. In April 2016, scientists, traditional owners, managers, industry experts and local residents gathered to launch a new mangrove monitoring program and develop an action plan to better manage mangroves and saltmarsh in the Bundaberg and Gladstone Regions. Citizen scientists will also have the opportunity to work with Gidarjil Sea Country Rangers on intensive mangrove monitoring between Rockhampton and Bundaberg, to measure the health of mangrove habitat and related issues.