Spatial and temporal trends in Great Barrier Reef inshore pesticide concentrations and the link to end of catchment loads
Declining water quality influenced by land-based activities and run-off has been identified as a significant threat to the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef. Sediment, nutrients and pesticides remain the key water quality issues and may have negative impacts on marine flora and fauna (primarily corals and seagrass) that are exposed to run-off plumes in inshore marine areas. The Reef Water Quality Protection Plan (Reef Plan) is a collaborative program designed to improve the quality of water in the Reef though improved land management practises. Since 2005, QAEHS have carried out water quality monitoring activities in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (the Marine Park) as part of the Marine Monitoring Program (MMP) under the Reef Plan. The key objectives of the project are to monitor and assess trends in inshore water quality (i.e. concentrations of pesticides/herbicides) against the Marine Park Water Quality Guidelines, and link inshore concentrations and their transport with end-of-catchment loads.