The Reef Water Quality Protection Plan (Reef Plan) was released by the Australian and Queensland Governments in October 2003. The Reef Plan focused on identifying and implementing solutions to improve water quality through sustainable natural resource management, with the ultimate goal to ‘halt and reverse the decline in water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef within ten years’. As part of the Reef Plan, the RWQPP Marine Monitoring Program was established in 2005, funded by the Australian Government and managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
In 2008, the new Federal Government committed $200 million to a five-year Reef Rescue Plan – a comprehensive program to tackle climate change and to improve water quality in the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef Rescue Plan is a key component of Caring for our Country, the Australian Government’s $2.25 billion initiative to restore the health of Australia’s environment and improve land management practices. The Reef Rescue Plan represents a new, coordinated approach to environmental management in Australia that is built on transparent and consistent national targets.
Through the Reef Rescue Plan, $22 million has been allocated for a Water Quality Monitoring and Reporting Program to expand existing efforts and to continue the already established RWQPP Marine Monitoring Program. In 2008/2009 the Marine Monitoring Program is supported through Reef Rescue and is now known as the Reef Rescue Marine Monitoring Program. The Program is a critical component of the assessment of any long-term improvement in regional water quality that will occur as best practice land management is widely adopted across the catchments feeding into the Great Barrier Reef.
A full list of downloadable reports that were produced to accompany the program can be found here.