Sustainable Sediment Management
The Sustainable Sediment Management Project (SSM Project) has been developed to help obtain a robust, well considered, long term solution for the management of maintenance dredging sediment.
In addition to delivering our commitments under the Deed of Agreement (the Deed), enacted between Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) and the Commonwealth of Australia on August 2015, the project aligns with the Reef 2050 Plan, the Australian Government’s overarching strategy for managing the Great Barrier Reef.
The project will build a solid understanding of the sediments in the port and will evaluate whether:
- there are ways to avoid maintenance dredging and what this would mean for the ongoing operation of the port
- GPC can reduce maintenance dredging, and/or
- GPC can beneficially reuse the sediment removed by dredging and view it as a resource rather than a waste.
Comprehensive stakeholder engagement will be undertaken during the project to assist in identifying potential sediment management opportunities suitable for progression into detailed feasibility studies.
Outcomes of the SSM Project will inform revision and improvement of our Long-term Maintenance Dredging Management Plan (LMDMP).
Stage 1: Baseline information – What did we know?
- Conceptual Sediment Budget – Report by Port & Coastal Solutions (PCS)
- Gap Analysis and Sampling Strategy – Report by PCS
- Independent Review of Conceptual Sediment Budget and Gap Analysis – Report by Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
- Sediment Texture Mapping – Report by CQ University (CQU)
- Turbidity Data Summary – Report by BMT
Stage 2: New information – What did we find out?
- Sampling Fieldwork – Report by Vision Environment
- Sediment Source – Report by CQU
- Transects of Tidal Flows and Turbidity – Report by BMT
- Model Refinement and Validation – Report by BMT
- Quantitative Sediment Budget – Report by PCS
- Independent Review of Quantitative Sediment Budget and Model Refinement – Report by AIMS
- Sediment Characterisation Report – Report by GHD
Stage 3: How does this link to GPC’s maintenance dredging?
- Avoid Dredging Assessment – Report by PCS
- Economic Impact of Not Dredging – Report by CQU
- Reduce Dredging Assessment – Report by PCS
- Beneficial Reuse of Dredge Material – Report by GHD
Stage 4: Evaluation, feasibility and trials – What are we going to do with all this information?
- Stakeholder Engagement and Evaluation – Report by GPC
- Feasibility Studies – Report by PCS (under review)
- Trials – To be planned including required approvals
Stage 5: What are we going to implement?
Stage 6: How and when are we going to review this information?
Water Quality Action 17 – Great Barrier Reef Quantitative Sediment Budget Assessment
Following the implementation of the Reef 2050 Plan, we have been working with the Queensland Ports Association (QPA) to address Water Quality Action 17 (WQA17). The objective of this action is to further understand port sediment characteristics and risks at the four major ports in Queensland and how they interact and contribute to broader catchment contributions within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
To support this work, BMT WBM have prepared a quantitative sediment budget of the entire Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and regions surrounding GBR ports. This work was scoped in 2017 with input from research agencies and has been reviewed by Environment Managers from each port authority, QPA and technical specialists engaged by QPA.
In addition, it has also been the subject of independent peer review prepared by Dr Andy Symonds from Port and Coastal Solutions Pty Ltd.
WQA17 compliments the local scale studies being undertaken by GPC through the SSM Project.