ADELAIDE & MOUNT LOFTY RANGES NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT BOARD’s 2014-15 ACHIEVEMENT REPORT

January 8, 2016 | Posted in: Achievements, Coastal activities, Coastal species, Conservation

We recently received the latest Achievement Report from the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board (AMLRNRMB). The 2014-15 Achievement Report has now been filed alongside reports for the past two years (mlssa 2321).

According to Prof. Chris Daniels, Presiding Member for the AMLRNRMB, 2014-15 “marks the first year of delivery under the board’s new 10 year strategic natural resources management plan for the region”. A glance through the report reveals sections on topics such as biodiversity, coast & marine and water management.

According to the Introduction for the report, “The plan . . . provides a long-term strategic guide to the programs needed to ensure that the region’s water, soils and native plants and animal habitats are managed sustainably and remain healthy”.

Strangely perhaps, the report often quotes “20 year targets” such as “Extent of functional ecosystems (coastal, estuarine, terrestrial, riparian) increased to 30% of the region (excluding urban areas)” and “Improvement in conservation prospects of native species (terrestrial, aquatic, marine) from current levels”. The 20 year target for Coast and Marine reads “Land-based impacts on coastal, estuarine and marine processes reduced from current levels”.

According to the year’s Key Achievements for Coast and Marine, the “1st scientific dive in marine sanctuary zones (was conducted) since fishing restrictions (were) declared”. “Coast and Marine” details discussed shorebirds, seagrasses, coastal communities, the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and Marine Parks.

Further details on these topics (“Snapshots”) discuss the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, the first scientific dive surveys in sanctuary zones, the International bird sanctuary and Bird Island at Outer Harbor. A Key Achievement for Planning and Evaluation for the year is said to be “New monitoring programs on estuary fish, marine bio-fouling and native vegetation”.

A “Snaphot for Planning and Evaluation is titled “Marine pest pilot to help protect biodiversity”. Under the heading “Local Government” there is a piece about coast protection and another piece about flora & fauna. This last piece is accompanied by a photo showing “Coastal Officers forum field trip to Fleurieu coastal sites”.

Under the heading of “7-year Highlights” there are graphs providing “cumulative data on key on-ground activities that have been achieved over seven years of regional NRM planning and action”. One of the graphs shows that 1199 kms of watercourse was rehabilitated to improve water quality. Another graph shows that 11,786 tonnes of waste was removed from our waterways.

According to the report’s piece about the “First scientific dive surveys in sanctuary zones”, “A team of scientific divers surveyed Marine Park sanctuary zones for the first time since fishing restrictions came into force in October 2014.”

It goes on to read:

“The areas surveyed in this region were located around Aldinga, Carrickalinga Head and Rapid Head on the Fleurieu Peninsula and were part of local and international efforts to assess the importance of marine reef ecosystems.”

Further, “The data collected are contributing to an international project called Reef Life Survey*, which monitors and reports on biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of marine resources.”

Following reference to sightings of “Blue Devil Fish” and Silver and Black Old Wives”, it ended with “This dive is the start of the annual monitoring program that looks at any changes in the size and numbers of marine species in the sanctuary zones as the years progress. The monitoring contributes to the assessment of the health of our reefs and the effectiveness of marine parks and sanctuary zones into the future.”

There are two more 20-year target for Coast and Marine:

“Halt in the decline of seagrass, reef and other coast, estuarine and marine habitats and a trend towards restoration.”

and

“All coast, estuarine and marine water resources meet water quality guidelines to protect defined environmental values.”

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society’s extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

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