GPC: Environmental Impact of Two Decades of Port Development (Australia)
The Gladstone Ports Corporation has released the Curtis Coast Coastal and Marine Resource Inventory Report 2012 which demonstrates that the environmental impact of two decades of extensive development In the Port of Gladstone has been minor.
The report compares the flora and fauna of the Curtis Coast in 2011-12 with that contained in a baseline study published in 1994.
Leo Zussino, CEO of GPC stated that “the report includes details of two decades of monitoring and research into the marine health of Gladstone harbour and its environs. It also reports on commercial and recreational fishing activity and industrial development.”
Key findings of the report include:
• Increase in industry and port development;
• Increase in commercial fish catch:
• Increase in protected conservation areas (land and marine);
• Increase in the number of flora that are of conservation significance;
• Increase in the number of some terrestrial fauna species, eg. reptiles:
• Decrease in the number of some terrestrial fauna species, eg. native mammals, birds;
• Increase in the number of some aquatic fauna species, eg. frogs, whales, dolphins, turtles, sea snakes;
• Seagrass fluctuates in response to climatic conditions. Large scale destruction post 2011 floods – significant recovery 2012;
• Water quality consistent throughout the period:
– Naturally turbid harbour;
– Elevated levels of metals due to regional geology.
• Sediment quality is consistent throughout the period:
– Elevated levels of metals due to regional geology;
– Presence of potential acid sulphate soils;
– Sediments compliant with quality criteria in National Dredging Guidelines.
Leo Zussino said that the Curtis Coast Coastal and Marine Resource Inventory Report was a vital piece of environmental information providing the community with access to almost two decades of monitoring and research. “It provides a further platform on which to evaluate future cumulative impacts of Port developments as the Gladstone Ports Corporation implements its 50 Year Strategic Plan.”
Press Release, June 21, 2013