Eco Detection helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef

Declining water quality associated with run-off from the adjacent catchments is a major cause of the current poor state of many of the coastal and marine ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef. By incorporating in-situ sensors and satellite sensors with data analysis and artificial intelligence, CSIRO’s AquaWatch mission can create an integrated system to deliver accurate monitoring and forecasting across Australia.

Last year, Australia’s space research centre, SmartSat CRC, unveiled the first four projects under the SmartSat Victoria Node. In collaboration with LaTrobe University, the Eco Detection project was selected based on its tangible solution to the real-world problem of maintaining waterway health.

After prolonged weather and site approval delays, Eco Detection last week completed installation of two Ion-Qs north of Townsville at Jourama Falls and Waterview Creek, Yuruga, with support from Queensland’s Department of Environmental and Science. The project will showcase the suitability of the Eco Detection systems for ground-based monitoring of environmental conditions for the AquaWatch mission. A further benefit from the project is the validation of our platform to provide measurement, reporting and verification for nutrient and biodiversity credits generation.

Reef Credits is a voluntary environmental market that addresses the issue of poor water quality at the Reef by paying land managers for improved water quality resulting from their on-farm actions, without compromising the productivity of their land.

GreenCollar works in partnership with farmers, graziers and other land managers to develop projects that align with farming business goals. Projects focus on reducing the flow of nutrients (namely Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen) to the Great Barrier Reef through improved cropping practices, or by establishing wetlands. Each Reef Credit is a tradeable unit representing a quantifiable amount of nutrient or sediment prevented from entering the Great Barrier Reef.