Spoonbills near UQ’s Moreton Bay Research Station. Photo by Lucy Trippett.
Spoonbills near UQ’s Moreton Bay Research Station. Photo by Lucy Trippett.
20 September 2016

The future of Moreton Bay will be the focus of a public regional forum at The University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus from 1-3 November.

UQ Centre for Marine Science Director Associate Professor Ian Tibbetts said the forum would share the latest information about Moreton Bay with scientists, government and industry representatives, educators and the community.

“It’s timely that the second Moreton Bay (Quandamooka) Catchment Forum is being held when we have greater population pressures on this magnificent resource on our doorstep,” he said.

Dr Tibbetts said the conference would evaluate the region’s ecological and environmental status.

“The forum aims to set a benchmark, making suggestions for future research priorities and establishing action points that can help us manage a sustainable bay and catchment,” Dr Tibbetts said.

“We know that since 1996, when the first such forum was held, the region’s population has almost doubled, from 250,000 to 400,000.

“Monitoring and modelling by Healthy Waterways, researchers, and community groups has already highlighted major environmental changes and impacts of increased pollution, development and erosion.

“The forum will bring together knowledge about how the region is used and is changing, so we can predict and prepare to combat future challenges to sustainability.”

Moreton Bay is internationally recognised for its waterway biodiversity, and is home to more than 600 dugongs and six of the world’s seven sea turtle species.

“Moreton Bay is a unique waterway,” Dr Tibbetts said.

“It’s a relatively shallow body of water, and acts like a semi-enclosed lagoon because it is separated from the ocean by sand islands.

“As a result, it accumulates sediment and nutrients, pollutants and litter that flow into the bay from 14 major river catchments.”

The conference will focus on 10 different research areas, from habitats and biodiversity through to industry, indigenous knowledge, citizen science and community values. 

UQ conference presenters include internationally regarded researchers Professor Stuart Phinn, Professor Catherine Lovelock, Dr Chris Roelfsema, and Professor Helen Ross.

Conference organisers are accepting abstracts for presentation, but encourage all interested community members to attend and discuss priorities for the region.

Visit the conference website to submit an abstract or register. Early bird registrations close this Friday 23 September.

Image caption: Spoonbills near UQ’s Moreton Bay Research Station. Photo by Lucy Trippett.

Media: Associate Professor Ian Tibbetts, i.tibbetts@uq.edu.au, +61 4 31 086 297.