• Access Economics,2007: Measuring the economic and financial value of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, 2005–06. Report for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Research Report No. 88, 83 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boesch, D. F., 1996: Science and management in four U.S. coastal ecosystems dominated by land–ocean interactions. J. Coast. Conserv., 2, 103114.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brodie, J., and J. Waterhouse, 2012: A critical review of environmental management of the “not so Great” Barrier Reef. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci., 104–105, 122.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • De'ath, G., K. E. Fabricius, H. Sweatman, and M. Puotinen, 2012: The 27-year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 172 995172 999.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Halpern, B. S., and Coauthors, 2008: A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science, 319, 948952, doi:10.1126/science.1149345.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hill, K., T. Moltmann, R. Proctor, and S. Allen, 2010: The Australian Integrated Marine Observing System: Delivering data streams to address National and International research priorities. Mar. Technol. Soc. J., 44, 6572.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hoegh-Guldberg, O., 1999: Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world's coral reefs. Mar. Freshw. Res., 50, 839866.

  • Kroon, F. J., K. M. Kuhnert, B. L. Henderson, S. N. Wilkinson, A. Kinsey-Henderson, J. E. Brodie, and R. D. R. Turner, 2012: River loads of suspended solids, nitrogen, phosphorus and herbicides delivered to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 65, 167181.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maynard, J. A., and Coauthors, 2008: ReefTemp: An interactive monitoring system for coral bleaching using high-resolution SST and improved stress predictors. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, doi:10.1029/2007GL032175.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schiller, A., G. Meyers, and N. Smith, 2009: Observing systems: Taming Australia's last frontier. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, 436440.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schroeder, T., M. J. Devlin, V. E. Brando, A. G. Dekker, J. E. Brodie, L. A. Clementson, and L. McKinna, 2012: Inter-annual variability of wet season freshwater plume extent into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon based on satellite coastal ocean colour observations. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 65, 210223.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • UNESCO, 2012: Requirements for global implementation of the strategic plan for coastal GOOS. GOOS Report 193. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

  • Webster, I. T., R. Brinkman, J. Parslow, J. Prange, A. D. L. Stevens, and J. Waterhouse, 2008: Review and gap analysis of receiving-water water quality modelling in the Great Barrier Reef. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, 137 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • View in gallery

    Key components of the eReefs coastal information system.

  • View in gallery

    Snapshot from the near-real-time hydrodynamic model of the Great Barrier Reef showing sea surface salinity and surface currents.

  • View in gallery

    MODIS true color picture of a flood plume from the Burdekin River, Queensland, Australia. The outer Great Barrier Reef is visible as light blue patches offshore (modified from Schroeder et al. 2012; figure ©2012 Elsevier).

  • View in gallery

    Snapshot of ReefTemp product website for the Great Barrier Reef (www.cmar.csiro.au/remotesensing/reeftemp/web/ReefTemp.htm). At present these include sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA), degree heating days (DHD), and mean positive summer anomaly (MPSA), calculated using the legacy climatology as well as both 1- and 14-day mosaic SST products (SST in °C).

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Monitoring, Predicting, and Managing One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World

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  • 1 Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, and CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship, Hobart, Australia
  • | 2 CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, and CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship, Hobart, Australia
  • | 3 Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  • | 4 Bureau of Meteorology, Brisbane, Australia
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CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Dr. Andreas Schiller, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, GPO Box 1538, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia, E-mail: Andreas.Schiller@csiro.au

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Dr. Andreas Schiller, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, GPO Box 1538, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia, E-mail: Andreas.Schiller@csiro.au

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is a 2,000-km-long reef and lagoon complex. It is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site covering 347,800 km2, sandwiched between Australia's northeast coastline and the Coral Sea. It includes an estimated 2,800 reefs, with an average depth of 35 m. One of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the GBR is the world's largest coral reef and a significant part of Australia's natural heritage and economy. For example, a 2007 report by Access Economics for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority found that the total economic contributions to Australia from tourism, commercial fishing, and recreational activities in the GBR catchment area totaled more than $AUS 5.7 billion (approximately $US 5.9 billion) in 2005–06. The report also found that these activities accounted for a direct and indirect national contribution of 66,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

Despite these socioeconomic benefits, a number of threats—including declining water quality, climate change, tropical cyclones, shipping, fishing, and coastal development—have the potential to detract from the reef's natural, cultural, and economic value. More specifically, the GBR is exposed to pressures (ocean warming and acidification, land-based inputs of nutrients and sediments, hypoxia, fishing, etc.) that are associated with changes in ecosystem states (extent and condition of coral reefs and their endemic flora and fauna; nutrient, chlorophyll, and turbidity fields within the coral reef ecosystem; etc.) and impacts of changes in states on ecosystem services (tourism and recreation, provision of food and pharmaceuticals, carbon sequestration, shoreline protection, etc.).

The most important pressures associated with climate change in terms of the growth and health condition of corals can be separated into what can be managed locally with an expected immediate impact (“rapid response management”) and management decisions without an immediate impact (“slow response management”). The former includes the impacts of water quality degradation (due to increases in turbidity, sedimentation, and nutrient enrichment, for example) that we can control on short time scales, and the latter includes impacts of ocean warming and acidification that require global responses over a longer period of time. The impacts of ocean warming and acidification on corals can be exacerbated by water quality conditions in that the effects of nutrient enrichment, reductions in water clarity, sedimentation, overfishing, etc., on corals may make them less resilient to warming and/or acidification. Thus, those impacts that can be addressed through rapid response management can mitigate the impacts of climate change pressures. Mitigation of the impacts of climate change are essential for the long-term survival of the GBR, yet national or regional policies are unlikely to provide short-to-medium-term solutions to global-scale potential risks due to climate change. These risks are associated with heat stress, possibly more frequent tropical storms, and increasing ocean acidity—all of which are likely to detrimentally affect the health of the reef and affect the triple bottom-line benefits associated with the GBR.

In fact, although the GBR is recognized as one of the best managed reefs in the world (e.g., http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2012/whc12-36com-7BAdd-en.pdf), coral cover has declined by ~50% over the last few decades, a rate that is similar to less well-managed reefs. The cumulative impacts of these threats to the iconic GBR have recently attracted unprecedented domestic and international public interest in its health [e.g., World Heritage Committee of UNESCO (2012), http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4657].

Declining water quality due to increased delivery of terrestrially derived nutrients and sediments from cleared, fertilized, and urbanized catchments is recognized to adversely impact the coastal water quality and health of marine ecosystems. Some of the key indicators of ecosystem state of the GBR are water quality (e.g., pH, nutrient concentrations, suspended sediment concentrations, and chlorophyll fields) as proxy for ecosystem states such as coral diversity and abundance, abundance and distribution of macroalgae, spatial extent of seagrass, and the abundance of crown-of-thorn sea stars; and temperature as proxy for coral bleaching stress and population outbreaks of crown-of-thorn sea stars. Poor water quality reduces the resilience of coral reefs and increases their recovery times between disturbance events, which include ocean warming and acidification. Unlike the long-term and global impacts of climate change, the drivers of water quality have the potential to be managed through regional land-use management initiatives [e.g., the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan (www.reefplan.qld.gov.au/about.aspx)]. Furthermore, potential synergies between declines in water quality (as indicated by increases in the concentrations of nutrients, suspended sediments, chlorophyll, macroalgae cover, etc.) and overfishing and the impacts of ocean warming and acidification can be managed.

Science-based management and policy are recognized as a pathway for mitigating loss of value in the GBR, and this includes improved decision support and communication tools for all who interact with, manage, and depend on the reef. In particular, the development and application of calibrated, validated, and data assimilating models to guide management actions are considered criteria for the effective integration of science and management. In this context, the eReefs project can be interpreted as an environmental information delivery component of the DPSIR model, which is a causal framework for describing the interactions between society and the environment. This framework has been adopted by the European Environment Agency (http://glossary.eea.europa.eu/EEAGlossary/D/DPSIR). eReefs is also a response by Australian and Queensland State Government agencies plus private investors to mitigate the risks associated with the multiple use of the GBR. eReefs will, for the first time, provide a comprehensive three-dimensional picture of the reef in the past, present, and future. It integrates existing efforts to monitor (e.g., Australian Integrated Marine Observing System, www.imos.org.au) and simulate the environmental and ecosystem conditions within the GBR and its catchments, and forms the first step in building a comprehensive coastal information system for the whole of Australia. The project uses the latest measurement technologies to monitor and deliver observations together with a suite of integrated and data-assimilating models across paddock, catchment, estuary, reef lagoon, and ocean scales.

The key R&D partners of eReefs are the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). By 2015, they will deliver a comprehensive framework to explore and predict the impact of multiple factors like climate change (e.g., ocean temperature and pH) and water quality (e.g., nutrients, chlorophyll, turbidity) and provide an interactive, visual picture of the reef and its component parts, accessible to all. The eReefs project scientists work closely with a user reference group (which comprises representatives from the public and private sector involved in the management of the GBR) to identify variables and project outputs of most interest and relevance to end users. Information identified by the user reference group and released by eReefs provides input to optimal marine spatial planning and adaptive ecosystem-based approaches to decision making conducted by the end users. Further enhancements through citizen science initiatives within eReefs will allow the broader community to engage with the health of the reef—contributing monitoring information and, in turn, learning about the reef. The initiative will increase the certainty of the scientific advice provided for the reef, and will deliver information akin to that provided by weather services, with information and tools derived to benefit government agencies, reef managers, policy makers, researchers, industry, and local communities. Each of these stakeholders has different priorities. For example, some are interested in short-term coastal current forecasts to monitor effluents from rivers, and others are interested in outputs from scenario models to determine likelihoods of future climate thresholds. Consequently, the key objectives of eReefs are to

  • transform reef management by dramatically improving the visibility, currency and application of information throughout the GBR and beyond—on a paddock-to-ocean scale;

  • provide managers with increased certainty in environmental information provided by eReefs and allow them to rely on the information generated;

  • support managers, reef-dependent industries, farm businesses, and the community in monitoring the current status of the reef environment, at a whole-of-system scale (and at smaller scales within the system);

  • enable current conditions to be evaluated against past conditions and future conditions by providing for the first time a fully three-dimenional picture of the GBR; and

  • integrate salient social and economic data relating to populations, tourism trends, recreational fishing efforts, and selected commodity markets.

The subsequent four sections describe the key components of eReefs.

MONITORING.

Observations underpin the eReefs ocean monitoring and forecasting activities in support of end-user applications. Consequently, one of the key tasks of eReefs is to expand and improve the accessibility and integration of existing monitoring data, including real-time sensors, remote sensing, integrated ocean monitoring systems, Internet and mobile tools, and other innovative observational technologies. The research undertaken on operational Earth observations will enable the generation of a continuous environmental data record of water-quality variables like chlorophylla (to identify algal blooms), total suspended solids (TSS), colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and water clarity. The data record will cover the period from 1997 to present by combining all archived, current, and forthcoming suitable ocean color data observed from satellites. This time series of remotely sensed data will be suitable for assimilation into key catchment, receiving water (estuarine), and oceanic models.

ADVANCING ENVIRONMENTAL INTELLIGENCE.

A comprehensive, up-to-date, and easily accessible picture of the reef can be obtained by combining observations from different platforms with model simulations and by disseminating these data through web portals.

From a management point of view, short-term hydrodynamic and biogeochemical forecasts need to be provided in near-real time to facilitate proactive decision making (e.g., to support search and rescue activities and to allow effluents from rivers to be monitored). On the other side of the spectrum sits scenario modeling of climate-change impacts to diagnose cause–effect relationships that potentially have latencies of months to years, depending on the urgency required to inform policy decisions. Interoperable data and information systems will link these different data sources distributed across various institutions. This will become the definitive platform for comprehensive access to existing monitoring and measurement data (environmental, ecological, social, and economic) for the GBR through the application of data storage and sharing technologies. A standards-based working prototype eReefs website and a data portal have been prepared. This portal will hold general project information, links to partner websites, and communication and data products (www.ereefs.org.au), and will become the public access point for eReefs information.

A scientific workflow tool will allow the coupling of terrestrial, receiving water, and coastal models to enable rapid development and prototyping of an integrated modeling approach from paddocks to reefs, for eventual inclusion into the final operational (near-real time) and scenario modeling framework.

FORECASTING AND SCENARIO MODELING.

The GBR region, including the continental shelf and the estuaries, is literally where society meets the sea. Ocean water properties of the GBR vary through a combination of deep-ocean and land-derived influences. As such, a modeling and forecasting system covering all relevant scales of this region must include the interactions that occur between the atmosphere, the deep ocean, the continental shelf, the reef lagoon, and the estuaries.

Characterization of shelf seas and the coastal environment using numerical methods has traditionally been undertaken on a case study basis using regional and local models. This involves developing a new model configuration for each application, usually comprising multiple one- or two-way nested grids. Prior to eReefs, comprehensive whole-of-reef modeling efforts did not exist; the following features were missing from previous models:

  • coupling of near-real-time catchment models and whole-of-reef and relocatable, multiply nested three-dimensional ocean models, driven by meteorological models;

  • assimilation of marine in situ and remotely sensed observations into the hydrodynamic and biogeochemical models at appropriate space and time scales;

  • delivery of a consistent and comprehensive set of nowcasts, short-term forecasts, multiyear hindcasts/reanalysis, and scenario capability; and

  • linkage of taking model inputs from—and delivering outputs from models into—a comprehensive information management, visualization, and delivery system.

eReefs modeling will deliver fit-for-purpose marine models for the GBR lagoon and adjacent inshore and estuarine systems, embedded in the eReefs information system. Utilizing a new generation of models, which both describe the current state and predict future outcomes, eReefs will, for the first time, provide a link between and comprehensive routine coverage of activities at a paddock, catchment, reef, and ocean scale, and describe their impacts on the reef.

The eReefs integrated modeling system consists of a suite of hydrodynamic, biogeochemical, sediment transport, and catchment models, forced by outputs from meteorological models and global ocean forecasting systems (Fig. 1). The models address multiple spatial scales, ranging from whole-of-GBR (thousands of kilometers) to individual reefs and estuaries (hundreds of meters). This requires a flexible and nested approach to model resolution and domain based on a variety of tools and approaches, including

  1. routinely delivered hydrodynamic models at high spatial resolution (1–4 km) providing nowcasts, short-term forecasts, and decadal hindcasts/reanalysis of the entire reef circulation (Fig. 2);

  2. assimilation of marine in situ and remotely sensed observations at appropriate time scales;

  3. coupling to sediment transport and biogeochemical (BGC) models to simulate water quality and sediment dynamics from catchment to reefs;

  4. relocatable nested models for estuaries or reef areas of special interest to provide high resolution in local domains;

  5. routinely run catchment models to forecast and hindcast catchment inputs to the reef (and to hydrodynamic models);

  6. scenario analysis capability to support the evaluation of alternative management strategies to reduce current impacts on the reef; and

  7. acceptance of inputs from, and delivering outputs into, the eReefs information management, visualization, and delivery modules.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Key components of the eReefs coastal information system.

Citation: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 95, 1; 10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00202.1

The models are validated with available biophysical observations from satellites (e.g., chlorophyll-a), tide gauges (sea surface height), moorings (e.g., velocity), and ocean glider data (e.g., temperature and salinity). These observations are provided by the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System [www.imos.org.au; see also Schiller et al. (2009); Hill et al. (2010); UNESCO (2012)]. The routinely run hydrodynamic, biogeochemical, and sediment models will be functioning in two modes: like NWP models in near-real-time forecasting applications and in delayed mode for scenario modeling.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Snapshot from the near-real-time hydrodynamic model of the Great Barrier Reef showing sea surface salinity and surface currents.

Citation: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 95, 1; 10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00202.1

The marine models developed for eReefs include

  • hydrodynamic models predicting circulation, mixing, transport, connectivity, temperature, and salinity;

  • sediment transport models predicting transport and fate of suspended sediments, the exchange of sediments between water column and seabed, and the penetration of light into the water column; and

  • biogeochemical models up to the trophic level of zooplankton for the cycling of nutrients, carbon, and dissolved oxygen through plankton and benthic primary and secondary producers.

The success of eReefs lies in the ability of calibrated and validated numerical models to deliver information that addresses topics like delivery of nutrients from the catchment, processing of those nutrients by estuaries, eutrophication potential, sediment transport, hypoxia, reef acidification, and coral bleaching. Effective management of human impacts on the spatial extent and condition of the GBR require coupled physical, benthic-pelagic sediment transport, and biogeochemical models to deliver the required system understanding and information. Consequently, the successful integration and simulation of these complex models, both operationally and in hindcast, is pivotal to the success of eReefs.

VISUALIZATION, OUTREACH, AND USER APPLICATIONS.

Users of the eReefs system need to have easy access to key information. eReefs delivers a web-based reporting and visualization suite to communicate key data, reports, and forecasts, thus enabling spatial and temporal exploration of environmental conditions on a paddock-to-ocean scale. As such, it provides the focus for delivering user-relevant, fit-for-purpose products from monitoring and modeling the GBR. For example, the research undertaken will develop novel visualization tools to assess the impact of human activities on the Great Barrier Reef, or to predict the waterborne transport of larvae from coral, fish, and other reef organisms. Tools will include GIS and web-based visualizations of the transport and fate, in four dimensions, of pollutants across the reef catchments and receiving waters. Similar tools are being developed to visualize the transport of marine organisms and their larvae, including organisms that may be detrimental to the health of the reef; an example is the coral-eating crown-of-thorns sea star. These tools provide insight into the connectivity of populations throughout the GBR. A prototype has recently been released utilizing output from the 4-km hydrodynamic model with particle tracking and visualization provided through the online tool CONNIE (www.csiro.au/connie2). Another significant output of this research will be the ability to visualize the uncertainty associated with the outputs from the eReefs modeling system.

Timely access to water quality information is essential for managers to monitor and, where possible, take action to maintain vibrant and healthy reef ecosystems. A marine water quality dashboard will provide this information. It is a tool to access and visualize a range of water quality indicators for the GBR. The dashboard enables access to historical and near-real-time data on sea surface temperature, chlorophyll levels, and light for the entire GBR and will complement existing observational data. Data from the dashboard can be displayed in different formats like animations of changing temperature over time or downloaded from the web for further analysis and interpretation. More information on the dashboard is available at www.bom.gov.au/environment/activities/coastal-info.shtml.

The two following examples illustrate the future use of the eReefs information system.

Example 1: Tracking rainfall and flooding events.

Significant rainfall events within the catchment areas adjacent to the GBR typically cause flooding and subsequent flows onto the reef (Fig. 3). Future climate projections suggest increasing rainfall variability and more intense drought-breaking floods that will carry elevated loads of sediments, nutrients, and toxicants into the marine environment. eReefs will enable the flood plume to be monitored and visualized in near real-time. The application of predictive hydrodynamic models and scenario simulations will enable reef managers to track and investigate the impact of such plumes, and help identify the footprint of inputs from individual catchments and determine priority catchments requiring management actions.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

MODIS true color picture of a flood plume from the Burdekin River, Queensland, Australia. The outer Great Barrier Reef is visible as light blue patches offshore (modified from Schroeder et al. 2012; figure ©2012 Elsevier).

Citation: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 95, 1; 10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00202.1

Example 2: Assessing cumulative threats.

Over periods of time, particular areas of the GBR are stressed by events and processes like climate change (e.g., coral bleaching, increasing ocean acidity), floods, cyclones, population outbreaks of crown-of-thorns sea stars, and land runoff. eReefs will provide information that will allow environmental managers to accurately assess and predict the cumulative impacts of stressful events, which in turn will assist potential management interventions and actions to target specific areas (e.g., Halpern et al. 2008). ReefTemp (Fig. 4) is an element of this information system. It is a high-resolution mapping product that provides information on coral bleaching risk for the GBR region (www.cmar.csiro.au/remotesensing/reeftemp/web/ReefTemp.htm). Climate change projections indicate increased frequency and severity of mass coral bleaching events. ReefTemp produces high-resolution nowcasts of bleaching risk and provides an enhanced capability to monitor heat stress on the Great Barrier Reef. Elevated sea temperatures are the primary cause of mass coral bleaching events. Mortality appears to increase with the intensity of the bleaching event, which is determined by how much and for how long temperatures remain above the maximum mean summer temperatures. Similarly, the time-course of recovery (when it occurs) following a bleaching can be monitored with ReefTemp.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Snapshot of ReefTemp product website for the Great Barrier Reef (www.cmar.csiro.au/remotesensing/reeftemp/web/ReefTemp.htm). At present these include sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA), degree heating days (DHD), and mean positive summer anomaly (MPSA), calculated using the legacy climatology as well as both 1- and 14-day mosaic SST products (SST in °C).

Citation: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 95, 1; 10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00202.1

TOWARD THE FUTURE.

In summary, eReefs is a collaborative project that will contribute to the protection and preservation of the iconic Great Barrier Reef. It will be a state-of-the-art integrated system of data, models, visualization, reporting, and decision-support tools that span the entire GBR area—from paddock to catchment, estuary, reef lagoon, and ocean. eReefs will

  • provide access to, and link, environmental data and information on ecosystem health, water quality, and the transport and fate of water and waterborne material, moving through catchments and into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon; and

  • deliver information for reef managers, policy makers, and other stakeholders—including industry and the public—to use within their business systems and processes, to interpret and create new information products and services to support the improved management and sustainable development of the Great Barrier Reef.

Comparable efforts are happening in the United States and elsewhere [e.g., the Chesapeake Bay Forecasting Project (CBFS, http://cbfs.umd.edu) and Northern Gulf of Mexico Operational Forecast System (http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/ofs/ngofs/ngofs.html); also see the IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed for both of these projects (www.ioos.noaa.gov/modeling/testbed.html)]. For example, the CBFS project aims at predicting vital characteristics of the largest estuary in the United States in both short and long time ranges. CBFS combines NOAA, USGS, NASA, and USDA data, on-site sensors, and satellite observation to generate accurate Chesapeake Bay watershed area forecasts with high spatial resolution. Similar efforts are under way in Europe (www.myocean.eu/web/76-coastal-marine-environment-description.php) and Asia (www.unescobkk.org/westpac/about-us/ioc-westpac/ioc-westpac/programmes-and-projects/oceano-bservations-and-services/seagoos/ofd). However, these efforts are comparable in concept only. Achieving management objectives (which differ among these systems) requires a closely linked system of observations, modeling, and data management. Observing system requirements (from observations and models to time–space scales of resolution) for a semienclosed ecosystem like the Chesapeake Bay are quite different than those for a large open-water coral reef like the GBR.

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, and the largest country completely surrounded by water. The eReefs project forms the first step in building comprehensive coastal information systems for the almost 60,000 km in total length of Australia's coastline (including islands; www.ga.gov.au/education/geoscience-basics/dimensions/coastline-lengths.html).

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The eReefs project is a public–private collaboration between Australia's leading operational and scientific research agencies, government, corporate Australia, and reef managers with funding support from BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and BHP Billiton, the Australian Government Caring for our Country initiative, Queensland Government and Science, and the Industry Endowment Fund.

FOR FURTHER READING

  • Access Economics,2007: Measuring the economic and financial value of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, 2005–06. Report for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Research Report No. 88, 83 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boesch, D. F., 1996: Science and management in four U.S. coastal ecosystems dominated by land–ocean interactions. J. Coast. Conserv., 2, 103114.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brodie, J., and J. Waterhouse, 2012: A critical review of environmental management of the “not so Great” Barrier Reef. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci., 104–105, 122.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • De'ath, G., K. E. Fabricius, H. Sweatman, and M. Puotinen, 2012: The 27-year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 172 995172 999.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Halpern, B. S., and Coauthors, 2008: A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science, 319, 948952, doi:10.1126/science.1149345.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hill, K., T. Moltmann, R. Proctor, and S. Allen, 2010: The Australian Integrated Marine Observing System: Delivering data streams to address National and International research priorities. Mar. Technol. Soc. J., 44, 6572.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hoegh-Guldberg, O., 1999: Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world's coral reefs. Mar. Freshw. Res., 50, 839866.

  • Kroon, F. J., K. M. Kuhnert, B. L. Henderson, S. N. Wilkinson, A. Kinsey-Henderson, J. E. Brodie, and R. D. R. Turner, 2012: River loads of suspended solids, nitrogen, phosphorus and herbicides delivered to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 65, 167181.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maynard, J. A., and Coauthors, 2008: ReefTemp: An interactive monitoring system for coral bleaching using high-resolution SST and improved stress predictors. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, doi:10.1029/2007GL032175.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schiller, A., G. Meyers, and N. Smith, 2009: Observing systems: Taming Australia's last frontier. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, 436440.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schroeder, T., M. J. Devlin, V. E. Brando, A. G. Dekker, J. E. Brodie, L. A. Clementson, and L. McKinna, 2012: Inter-annual variability of wet season freshwater plume extent into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon based on satellite coastal ocean colour observations. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 65, 210223.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • UNESCO, 2012: Requirements for global implementation of the strategic plan for coastal GOOS. GOOS Report 193. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

  • Webster, I. T., R. Brinkman, J. Parslow, J. Prange, A. D. L. Stevens, and J. Waterhouse, 2008: Review and gap analysis of receiving-water water quality modelling in the Great Barrier Reef. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, 137 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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