​​Feature
HomeEnvironment

Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Program

The Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Program (ERMP), a compliance requirement under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) approval for the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal project, is designed to provide high level information on the health of Port Curtis and Port Alma ecosystems and observe and provide advice on any potential impacts caused by the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project. 

The information collated is used to monitor, manage and improve the marine environment and to offset any impacts on listed threatened and migratory species and the values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

​ERMP Advisory Panel 

The ERMP is overseen by an Advisory Panel made up of independent marine experts and scientists and reports to the Australian Government with GPC acting as the facilitator.

  • Dr. Chris Crossland  - ERMP Advisory Panel Chair
  • Dr. Norm Duke – Tropical Marine Ecology, Tidal wetlands and Mangroves
  • Dr. Richard Fuller - Migratory Shore Birds
  • Prof. Peter Harrison – Inshore dolphins, reef systems and coastal wetlands
  • Dr Col Limpus – Marine Reptiles
  • Prof. Helene Marsh – Dugongs. 

​ERMP Survey Area


ERMP Projects 

The ERMP will fund projects for the region and wider bioregion as outlined in the map, from 2011 to 2021 that include initiatives such as:

  • ​​Research, monitoring and management of seagrass ecosystems adjacent to port developments in Central Queensland: literature review and gap analysis.
  • Status of the dugong population in the Gladstone area: gap analysis. 
  • Monitoring of coastal sea turtles: gap analysis.
  • Migratory shorebird monitoring review: gap analysis. 
  • Mangrove and saltmarsh monitoring: Literature review. 
  • Research, monitoring and management of seagrass ecosystems adjacent to port developments in Central Queensland: literature review and gap analysis.
  • Central Queensland corals and associated benthos: monitoring review and gap analysis. 
  • Review of water quality studies: gap analysis.
  • Report for marine megafauna and acoustic monitoring. 
  • Monitoring aquatic ambient noise and associated pressure impacts in Port Curtis and Port Alma. 
  • Identify potentially suitable habitats for dugongs in the Port Curtis and Port Alma region and determine any temporal changes in their utilisation of these habitats. 
  • Increase understanding of green turtle habitat usage in the Port Curtis and Port Alma region: using satellite telemetry. 
  • Determine the composition by size, sex, growth rates, survivorship, recruitment, and general health of the green turtle population in Port Curtis
  • Increase understanding of flatback turtle habitat usage in the Port Curtis and Port Alma region: using satellite telemetry. 
  • Monitor marine turtle nesting populations on index beaches in the Port Curtis and Port Alma region and surrounds. 
  • Marine turtle hatchling orientation monitoring program. 
  • Migratory shorebird monitoring: Shorebird surveys. 
  • Migratory shorebird monitoring: Understanding ecological impact.
  • Port Curtis/Western Basin seagrass monitoring - seed bank density and viability studies. 
  • Monitoring the survival and recovery of shorelines, specifically tidal wetlands (mangroves/saltmarsh/saltpans). 
  • ERMP Synthesis Report.
  • ​Contingency funds​. 

View the approved ERMP​ for further details on the project scopes or visit our Environmental Reports.

More Information 

​For information about our Port Curtis and Port Alma Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Program (ERMP) please email or phone our Environment Team on (07) 4976 1333. ​