Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 32

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GUEST VIEWPOINT

Port Management in the Great Barrier Reef
By Simona Duke, Senior Manager Sustainability, North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation

S

eaports by their nature are situated at the sensitive interface between the terrestrial and marine environments.
North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) also
has the added responsibility, and privilege, of managing three major ports located within a unique and highly valued
environmental asset - the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
(GBRWHA) in Queensland, Australia.
As one of the world's most amazing natural areas, the Great Barrier
Reef is the world's most extensive coral reef system and has some of
the richest biological diversity on Earth. It stretches over 1,500 miles
in length and covers 85,000 square miles on the northeast continental
shelf of Australia. It is home to approximately 3,000 coral reefs, 600
different types of soft and hard corals, 15,000 square miles of seagrass,
1,600 different types of fish and over 130 varieties of rays and sharks.
Operating ports in the GBRWHA allows NQBP to showcase
leadership and innovation in environmental management. By
monitoring and managing the interactions between our ports and
the natural environment, NQBP is proud to be able to contribute
positively to the long-term sustainability of one of the world's most
important ecosystems. NQBP has developed a long-term, strategic
approach to environmental monitoring and research by partnering
with leading science institutions and experts. NQBP has recently
begun a $3 million, three-year monitoring and research partnership

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with one of Australia's leading tropical marine science colleges,
James Cook University. An investment of this nature is important
not only to a continued stewardship role within the GBRWHA,
but also to better support management decisions in relation to
ongoing operation, maintenance and growth of our ports. Having
long-term, robust and trusted environmental information on hand
is critical to managing any impacts from the interaction of port
activities and the marine and coastal environment.
Historically, environmental monitoring has focused on determining
baseline conditions for upcoming port developments and compliance
management. However, in the pursuit of continual improvement
and a holistic approach to environmental monitoring, NQBP has
developed long-term ambient monitoring programs at each of our
Great Barrier Reef ports for marine water quality, seagrass and coral.
The program now covers over 120 miles of coastline and aligns with
broader, regional, integrated reef monitoring, allowing data to be
incorporated into whole of reef health and resilience science and
research initiatives. The information is also used by NQBP for adaptive management purposes for port developments and operations.
The monitoring methodology used by NQBP aligns with those
used by the Federal Governments Marine Monitoring Program
(MMP). As such, NQBP is able to provide its coral monitoring data
to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to
integrate into the overall data set used for reef-wide report cards,
including the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report and the Healthy
Rivers to Reef Mackay Whitsunday Report Card. This represents
an important contribution by NQBP in the overall response to
the deteriorating health of the GBR that has been recorded by
GBRMPA in recent times.
NQBP is committed to innovation and information sharing and
strives to obtain independent and credible data that is collected in
a consistent, rigorous and timely manner. This approach not only
assists in port operations, but provides assurance for compliance
reporting, strategic project planning and going above and beyond
in environmental stewardship. Further to this work, NQBP is working in advancing environmental best practice through work with
the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure
(PIANC). In this context, NQBP has been heavily involved in an
international Working Group to develop a Best Practice Guideline
on Environmental Risk Management for Navigation Infrastructure
Projects. This project work highlights the importance of embedding
environmental outcomes early in an infrastructure project and uses
a number of Australian and NQBP case studies to demonstrate
best practice.
Ports are reliant on the health of the ecosystems in which they
operate and progressive environmental management is crucial in
maintaining a social license to operate. NQBP's advanced environmental monitoring within the GBRWHA ensures that port operations and expansions take place in a sustainable manner. Operating
sustainable, world-class ports that are key to Australia's financial
future, and protecting the unique environment where generations
of people work, live, and play is core to how NQBP does business. ●


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017

Latin American Ports Debate Globalization and Protectionism in Punta del Este
AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
Anticipating Change … Progress Through Port Diversification
Creative Financing
Workforce Diversity
Preparing for Growth Through Multiple Modes
Highlights from the 2017 AAPA Annual Convention
Third Edition of the CMTS Federal Funding Handbook Now Online
Port Management in the Great Barrier Reef
Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - Intro
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - bellyband1
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - bellyband2
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - cover1
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - cover2
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 3
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 4
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 5
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - AAPA Headquarters
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 7
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - From the President’s Desk
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 9
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - Anticipating Change … Progress Through Port Diversification
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 11
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 12
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 13
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 14
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - Creative Financing
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 16
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 17
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 18
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 19
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - Workforce Diversity
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 21
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 22
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 23
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - Preparing for Growth Through Multiple Modes
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 25
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 26
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 27
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - Highlights from the 2017 AAPA Annual Convention
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 29
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - Third Edition of the CMTS Federal Funding Handbook Now Online
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 31
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - Port Management in the Great Barrier Reef
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 33
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - cover3
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - cover4
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - divider1
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - divider2
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 42
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 43
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2017 - 44
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