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  • This record provides an overview of the NESP Marine and Coastal Hub Research Plan 2023 project 3.7 – Identifying and overcoming barriers to coastal and marine habitat restoration and Nature based Solutions in Australia. No data outputs are planned for this project. -------------------- There is an increasing need for and investment in coastal and marine restoration around Australia to help manage habitat and biodiversity loss, water quality, coastal inundation and erosion, and blue carbon assets. These projects are undertaken by a range of Commonwealth, state and local government agencies, NGOs, and community groups, and range across different habitat types and scale. However, a number of barriers currently preclude widespread uptake and implementation of habitat restoration and nature-based solutions (NbS) in Australia, which centre on: 1) policy and legislative barriers; 2) engineering adoption of NbS; and 3) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusion and co-design. Overcoming barriers to marine and coastal restoration, and Nature-based Solutions (NbS) adoption is critical to safeguarding Australia’s marine estate. We focus this research on three thematic areas that represent roadblocks and opportunities for more inclusion in implementing and scaling-up restoration and NbS: 1. Engaging policy & permitting regulators to identify and breakdown barriers for marine and coastal habitat restoration; 2. Understanding and up-take of NbS by the engineering sector; and 3. Inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in restoration and NbS The research will be conducted through in person and/or virtual workshops, with the outcome being advancement of effective approaches to overcome these challenges. Planned Outputs • Final technical report with analysed data and a short summary of recommendations for policy makers of key findings [written]

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project D4 - "Expanding our spatial knowledge of marine biodiversity to support future best-practice reviews". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- This project will fill data gaps and evaluate methods relevant to the ongoing spatial management of seafloor biota across the Australian marine domain. The objective is to prepare Australian, State and Territory governments for future best-practice reviews of Australia’s marine bioregionalisation that can be used to improve marine spatial planning and management initiatives (e.g. marine bioregional plan and marine protected area reviews, environmental impact and natural heritage assessments). The project will incorporate results from field trips to unexplored offshore areas of Australia’s marine domain and communicate biodiversity values of the AMP network to the Australian public. Planned Outputs • Report evaluating the usefulness of phylodiversity (genetic diversity) to spatial marine planning • Report outlining extensions of known statistical approaches to be able to utilise available mixed-resolution biological data (including museum and historical data) for the production of best-evidence bioregional maps • Report evaluating the usefulness of connectivity (current) models to spatial marine planning • Report including description and images of deep-sea biological communities of the east coast, including the CMR network, on a scheduled November 2016 expedition of the NMF ‘Investigator’ (mid 2016-7). This survey will result in significant media opportunities to promote the values of the CMR network. • Report including description and images of banks, seamounts and pelagic aggregations within the Cocos Keeling/Christmas Island territories. This would require a successful application for ship-time on the NMF ‘Investigator’ • Report investigating the possibility of downscaling biogeographic maps to the typical scale of areas of conservation concern (1-100 km) by utilising emerging fine-scale bathymetry (provided by the shelf mapping project), acoustic and water movement data

  • This record provides an overview of the NESP Marine and Coastal Hub Research Plan 2023 project "Assessing changes in black rockcod abundance and size". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- This project will assess the relative abundance and size of the threatened black rockcod (Epinephelus daemelii) to inform how the species is responding to conservation and management actions. In 2010, a broadscale survey (81 sites) was undertaken in northern NSW and Lord Howe Island, followed by subsequent surveys of a subset of these sites approximately every 4-5 years. This project proposes to repeat the surveys of the initial 81 baseline sites to assess if protection measures, such as marine protected area sanctuary zones, are assisting in recovery of black rockcod. Overall, this will provide a 13-year time series (2010 – 2023) that will be used to indicate if black rockcod are increasing in abundance, getting larger, and/or becoming more widespread, all indicators that can be used to assess if recovery actions being implemented are effective. Outputs • underwater visual census (UVC) data for black rock cod [dataset] • Final project report [written]

  • This record provides an overview of the scope of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project E1 - "Guidelines for analysis of cumulative impacts and risks to the Great Barrier Reef". No raw data products are anticipated for this project. -------------------- The project will develop guidance for the analysis of cumulative impacts and risks to the environmental, social and economic values of the GBR. The project will use existing information to develop guidance for use by GBRMPA, DoEE, the Queensland Government and proponents of future development proposals. The project will build on the work undertaken in the GBR Strategic Assessment and support works undertaken under the Reef 2050 plan. The guidance will provide a practical science-based approach to assessment of cumulative risks to the Reef. Research will focus on providing a general and repeatable approach to be applied at the whole-of-reef scale (to meet planning, assessment and reporting requirements of the GBRMPA) and also at the development-site-scale (to meet the environmental assessment requirements of the GBRMPA and future proponents). The guidance will be developed in close collaboration with the GBRMPA and DoEE to ensure it is practical and compatible with relevant legislation and policy applicable to proposed actions within the GBR. The project will include a case study focused on attributing impacts of pressures and their cumulative impacts on shallow-water coral reefs of eastern Australia (including cumulative impacts for the whole-of-GBR). It will also examine how this could be applied to shallow temperate reefs follow recent risk assessments conducted in NSW. Research is primarily designed to meet the specific needs of GBRMPA and future proponents. NSW DPI, QLD Government and Parks Australia, may also benefit from the case study and insights to assessment of cumulative impacts. Planned Outputs • Case Study Report on GBR & Coral Sea reefs pressure analysis. • Final report - guidance for analysis of cumulative impacts and risk

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project B2 - "Analysis and elicitation to support State of the Environment reporting for the full spectrum of data availability". No data outputs are expected for this project. -------------------- The availability and quality of observation data that may be used to support State of the Environment reporting lies on a spectrum from: (i) high quality (e.g. Reef Life Survey, Long term reef monitoring programme, Temperate Reef Monitoring programme, state-based MPA monitoring programmes); (ii) moderate quality (e.g. continuous plankton recorder, occasional by catch surveys); (iii) low quality (anecdotal information) to (iv) expert beliefs but no empirical observations. We currently lack a principled process for utilising and merging data of varying quality and from different sources to form a national perspective to support State of the Environment reporting. The key unifying principle to support such a process is the extent to which the available data is representative of the environmental asset in question. As the extent to which the empirical observations accurately represent the state of the asset in both space and time diminishes, so the reliance on expert opinion increases, to the limit where the only available information is expert opinion. This project will provide an over-arching framework to consider these issues, develop practical protocols for blending different data streams with or without experts’ judgement as appropriate, and thereby provide a foundation for improving State of Environment reporting for all types of data sources, from high to low quality. It will do this by developing and applying protocols to support development of the marine chapter of SoE 2106. This currently being developed within a separate CSIRO funded project. The project will use the experience of developing this chapter to make recommendations about appropriate methodologies for future environmental reporting. Importantly the statistical approach and analysis principles will be consistent regardless of the amount or quality of the information available. As a result the framework and analysis methods will remain relevant, even as the quality and quantity of environmental data at the department’s disposal changes. This will provide the consistency of analysis and reporting that is essential to SoE. Expected Outcomes • The provision of two or three examples that demonstrate a unified approach to the use of expert opinion in SoE reporting. These examples will be identified in close collaboration with the Department and will be developed in time to support the marine chapter of 2016 State of the Environment report, contingent on the availability of resources in the second year of the project and timely interaction with the department. • Assessments of the status and trends of environmental assets in the State of the Environment report will be based on a principled and statistically defensible process that can merges and utilises data from all sources including expert opinion.

  • This record provides an overview of the NESP Marine and Coastal Hub project "Improving knowledge transfer to support Australian Marine Park decision making and management effectiveness evaluation". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- In the last decade Australia’s researchers have made significant progress to provide managers with data and data products to inform the planning and establishment of Australian Marine Parks (AMPs). However, further work is required to adequately meet the data product requirements for assessing AMP management effectiveness. This project addresses this problem by: 1) Identifying priority data and data products to support characterisation of marine systems and reporting on AMP monitoring priorities; 2) Assessing availability and delivery mechanisms of high priority data and data products and whether they are fit for purpose; and 3) Estimating condition of park values (excluding cultural values) and assessing management effectiveness with available data/knowledge. This project advances the Hub’s Protected Place Management Initiative and contributes to the national need for improving access to data and expanding the Australian Ocean Data Network. Outputs • Documented data and data product priorities organised in one or more data product hierarchies including monitoring priorities and their indicators where appropriate [written] • A fit for purpose assessment of priority data products [written] • Methods for estimating current condition status of AMP values [written] • Recommendations for how to progress priority data sets that do not currently meet the established criteria but are required for characterising, protecting, and assessing current condition status of AMP values [written] • Final project report [written] ---specific data outputs to be generated by this project are yet to be confirmed---

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project E3 - "Microplastics in the Australian marine environment". No data outputs are expected for this project. -------------------- A literature review will firstly identify key marine microplastics research and policy development internationally, with a focus on research that is contextual to microplastics in the Australian marine environment From this literature review, an options paper will be developed to explore the most feasible and impactful policy approaches for the Australian context to reduce both intentionally added and not intentionally added microplastics in the marine environment (it would be beneficial to understand the policy options that can address both categories of microplastics because the options are different). These two reports would form the basis of a one day workshop that will draw together policy-makers, researchers and relevant industry peak bodies to discuss and recommend policy and other options to limit the release / impact of microplastics in the environment. A workshop report will be drafted to summarise findings, recommendations, and next steps (including identifying gaps in both science and policy will inform any future work required). The report will provide evidence to underpin the development of national policy aimed at reducing microplastic pollution, including by identifying priority actions to deliver Australia’s 2018 National Waste Policy .

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project D7 - "NESP Hub support for Parks Australia’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement System (MERI) for Australian Marine Parks". No data outputs are expected for this project. -------------------- This application is to facilitate Hub engagement with Parks Australia during development and initiation of their Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (MERI) System for Australian Marine Parks. A key priority for the Marine Parks Branch in the 2019-20 financial year is finalising the Australian Marine Park MERI system. The Marine Biodiversity Hub will play an important role in development and implementation of this system. Hub partners have had previous experience in developing the integrated monitoring framework for the Great Barrier Reef, developing a process for identifying indicators for monitoring Key Ecological Features, and also have collected much of the ecological data that exists within Australian Marine Parks. In discussions with Parks Australia, to ensure the MERI system is optimally integrated with current scientific knowledge and capability, there are a number of tasks and information needs that the Hub is well positioned to provide assistance with, these include: • Review the ‘common language’ proposed for Australian Marine Parks, including natural values and pressures classifications, hierarchies and definitions. • Contribute to the identification of natural values, pressures and human uses within Australian Marine Parks and, where required, provide spatial data layers for incorporation into Parks Australia’s spatial information systems (i.e. Wylie) and other mapping portals. • Review conceptual models developed for each of the key ecosystems across the Australian Marine Park networks. • Review ecological risk assessments for natural values and pressures. • Provide advice on the process and criteria for identifying monitoring and inventory priorities. • Develop detailed conceptual models for areas identified as monitoring priorities. • Contribute to the development of monitoring questions. • Provide advice on the process and selection criteria for identifying appropriate value and pressure indicators (noting that the NESP D6 project is helping to identify appropriate social and economic indicators and measures). • Provide advice on best practice approaches for assessing management effectiveness. • Identify the suitability of existing data sets to support the identified monitoring priorities. • Provide advice on evaluation and reporting including best approaches for using a combination of quantitative data and expert opinion, and to help ensure alignment and consistency across objectives, key evaluation questions and reporting.

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project B4 - "Underpinning the repair and conservation of Australia’s threatened coastal-marine habitats". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- The primary objective of this project is to provide essential research to underpin restoration efforts to increase the success and efficiency of shellfish and saltmarsh repair. The secondary objective is to quantify clear easily understood benefits of repair to further increase groundswell, Indigenous and interest group support for repair efforts. For Phase 2 this involves: Shellfish reefs 1. Providing critical research to underpin the success of companion works investments into Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) restoration in Qld and NSW 2. Ongoing engagement with Indigenous groups, focused around especially SEQ and NSW to match the emphasis on Sydney rock oyster; 3. Through the Nature Conservancy, linking to shellfish restoration works in Port Phillip Bay (Vic), St Vincent’s Gulf (SA) and Oyster Harbour (WA) so that a National Business Case complete with examples of successes to date can be developed; 4. Underpinning this succinct business case with an information base for any follow-on activities such as assessment of shellfish reefs as an endangered community. Salt marshes 1. Estimating the benefits of salt marsh repair for an easily publicly understood indicator - prawn species. 2. Undertaking this work in NSW and Qld in parallel with proposed repair works so that very concrete case studies are available to demonstrate the benefits of repair. Planned Outputs Shellfish reef project outputs: • A scientific paper published in an eminent, peer-reviewed journal describing the ecology and biodiversity of shellfish reefs and biodiversity comparison against other marine habitats; • A scientific paper published in an eminent, peer-reviewed journal which identifies trajectories of change from past baselines to current condition and develops achievable targets for repair; • News stories, web articles, social media, brochures and oral presentations at national/international conferences, which communicate the key research findings to coastal stakeholders such as fishers, divers, NRM groups and government agencies; • News stories, web articles and social media which communicate the importance of shellfish reefs and shellfish food sources to Indigenous Australians; • Summary of community benefit and business propositions for coastal wetland repair expanding on the vision of a rejuvenated coastal ecology and written at the level required for input to various investors, agencies and public policy; • Updates at the end of 2016 as part of stakeholder engagement and continued communication. Salt marsh prawn productivity outputs: • A scientific paper published in an eminent, peer-reviewed journal quantifying and contrasting prawn productivity in healthy and degraded salt marsh communities in tropical and temperate environments; • Publicly accessible communication resources (brochures, social media, media releases and webpages) which articulate simply the prawn productivity values of salt marshes and links this to the need for the protection, conservation and restoration of degraded salt marsh communities.

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project D3 - "Implementing monitoring of AMPs and the status of marine biodiversity assets on the continental shelf". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- There is a significant need to support Parks Australia in the establishment of an inventory and monitoring program for Australian Marine Park (AMP) networks, and ensure it is integrated within broader national monitoring frameworks. The first part of this project provided a national collation all known mapping data from government and industry (including data acquired during CERF and NERP Hubs) to improve understanding of the distribution and extent of this key habitat around Australia, and to identify critical gaps in this knowledge to be filled by targeted surveys. This significantly improved understanding of KEF boundaries and conservation values or assets within Commonwealth Marine Reserves on Australia’s continental shelf. A classification system was developed for these reefs, and matched with refinement of inventory and monitoring approaches to track reef health through time, including standard approaches to SOE understanding and reporting consistent with measures developed for coastal systems within NESP (i.e. see project C2). This also involved collation of all mapping data on non-reef hard substrate, and all non-reef soft substrate, with this information also being available as a significant output. The second part of this project initiates a series of surveys, utilising standard operating procedures (SOPs), to demonstrate a sustainable path for a national survey program. By facilitating national approaches, including a standards-based approach to collecting new marine data, project outcomes will include key steps to assist Parks Australia to implement and initiate an AMP monitoring program, new knowledge to inform AMP management, a national integrated framework for State of Environment (SOE) reporting, and collaboration between State-based and Commonwealth-based programs. Planned Outputs • National-scale map of the distribution and extent of reef/non-reef habitat on the Aus continental shelf • Collation of all available mapping data for the Aus continental shelf • Detailed reports specific to each AMP survey, including a plain English summary • Survey data stored in national databases and portals • New multibeam mapping data from AMP survey areas and adjacent waters • New data on benthic invertebrate cover obtained from AUV imagery surveys • New data on benthic fish abundance obtained by BRUV surveys