aerial of water with a brown flood plume

Water quality

Good water quality is at the heart of healthy and resilient reefs

Run-off of sediments, nutrients and pesticides is one of the main pressures on the inshore waters of the Great Barrier Reef. It puts stress on coral reef and seagrass ecosystems, affecting their health and ability to recover from disturbances like coral bleaching and cyclones.

AIMS has monitored water quality in the Great Barrier Reef since the 1980s. We continue to run several large, long-term studies of inshore water quality.

Our science provides timely, accurate and relevant information to help government, industry and the public make informed management decisions for the Great Barrier Reef and other tropical marine ecosystems.

Our research also contributes to the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan, a joint commitment of the Australian and Queensland governments seeking to improve the quality of water flowing from catchments adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef.

International case studies have demonstrated that run-off and poor water quality can be effectively managed within 20 to 30 years, and will help the reef be more resilient.