08 Nov Ryan Turner
Dr. Ryan Turner is currently the Principal Scientist for Water Quality and Investigations in the Department of Environment and Science. Ryan has been coordinating major water quality monitoring programs assessing the impacts of sediment, nutrient and pesticides loads in numerous catchments along the Queensland coast discharging to the Great Barrier Reef and Moreton Bay since 2009. Ryan previously supervised analytical chemistry and microbiology laboratories in the private and public sector and held National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) signatory role. Ryan has developed numerous methodology and standard operating procedures for analytical and monitoring techniques (water quality, sediments and soils) and has writing sections of the Monitoring and Sampling Manual 2009 Environmental Protection (Water) Policy 2009.
Anthropogenic and Natural Occurring Nitrate in the Tully River – Impacting the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon.
The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is listed as a World Heritage area and is the world’s largest reef ecosystem. The GBR is managed through the Reef 2050 Long-term Sustainability Plan that includes the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP). A major component of the WQIP monitoring and evaluation is the Great Barrier Reef Catchment Loads Monitoring Program (GBRCLMP), which monitors the annual loads (mass) of total suspended solids (TSS) and nutrients that discharge to the GBR lagoon. There are 35 major basins (424,000 square kilometres of catchment) which generate terrestrial runoff to the GBR lagoon. One runoff constituent of concern for the GBR lagoon is nitrate. Nitrate has been linked to declines in; water quality, reef resilience and reef health. It is important to note that nitrate occurs naturally in the environment and can be introduced through many processes into waterways. However, increases in nitrate loads as a consequence of anthropogenic inputs is a problem worldwide and especially in GBR catchments like the Tully River. This presentation will discuss water quality nitrate monitoring data from 2010 to the present, from the Tully River, including the Tully Gorge National Park (reference site), and a site downstream of extensive agriculture. The data indicate a ~300% annual average increase in monitored loads of anthropogenic nitrate exported from the Tully River to the GBR lagoon.