Decision-support tools assist the future of Gladstone Harbour

Decision-support tools assist the future of Gladstone Harbour

The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Report Card takes a wealth of information across a number of areas, and delivers a fast efficient, reliable snapshot of the Harbour, without compromising on access to detail.

The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership is tasked with assessing and reporting the whole-of-system health of Gladstone Harbour, located on the central Queensland coast. The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has been involved with the partnership since its inception in 2013, delivering high level expertise and technological solutions for the project.

Central to the partnership is the Gladstone Harbour Report Card. The Report Card is a decision-support tool - an innovative solution to communicating complex information to a range of stakeholders, yet retaining sufficient information to help identify issues and guide management solutions.

The Report Card is based on the Data Information Management System (DIMS). This system takes data from over 78 environmental indicators, and using the best available science, translates these into a whole-of-system, easy-to-understand grade. For example, a reasonably healthy Harbour may receive a “B” or “C” grade and a poorly functioning system an “E”. Beyond the final grade, detailed information on the indices, as well as from 13 geographical zones, are readily available. Users are able to drill into the data of interest, assisting them to identify issues and prioritise management efforts.

“One of the goals of the AIMS Data and Technology Innovation Program is to convert the wealth of data that we can now produce about the world around us into useful tools.” said the Program’s Leader, Lyndon Llewellyn. “This approach to monitoring and reporting can be applied to a number of environmental areas, ensuring all stakeholders are well informed.”

The statistical workflows and framework were developed by AIMS statistician Dr Murray Logan, together with Dr Eric Lawrey, Gael LaFond, Greg Coleman and Aaron Smith from the AIMS Knowledge Systems for Environment Research Team. The Report card is produced annually and the 2015 report card is available here.

AIMS is involved in several components of the GHHP, contributing a wealth of tropical marine science expertise and technological capability.

Click here for more information regarding the DIMS and AIMS involvement in the GHHP.