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Project details

Title: Jervis Bay Project 1988-1994
Id: 2
Acronym: Jervis Bay Project
Investigator(s): Trevor Ward

Description: The Jervis Bay Project was set up to undertake baseline studies of the key habitats and species in Jervis Bay on the New South Wales coast, and to develop a monitoring program to assist with long-term management of the bay. It was funded by the Department of Defence who at that time planned to relocate the fleet base of the Royal Australian Navy to Jervis Bay, and although this plan was abandoned mid-way through the study, the study was completed and the final report published in 1994.
Description (full): JERVIS BAY PROJECT The Royal Australian Navy proposed to move its fleet base and armaments depot to Jervis Bay, a pristine marine embayment on the south coast of New South Wales. In 1988 the Department of Defence contracted CSIRO to conduct baseline studies of the marine environment of Jervis Bay and develop a monitoring program to assist with the long-term management of the bay. The project, which took three years, was the most intensive baseline study of inshore marine habitats in Australia. The Jervis Bay Field Laboratory at HMAS Creswell has now closed; the remaining work is being completed at Marmion in Western Australia. The fourth progress report was submitted to the Department of Defence in January 1991 and the final report was prepared The aim of the Jervis Bay project is to determine the natural variability in the key habitats (saltmarshes, mangroves, seagrasses, sandy beaches, rocky shores and deep substrates) and key species (fish, seagrasses, mangroves, saltmarshes, and invertebrate fauna) in Jervis Bay over time, from 1988 to 1991, and space, taking in the whole bay. The variability in the patterns observed are being related to physical factors such as water circulation, water quality and climatic factors to develop a general understanding of the nature and inherent variability of the main ecological processes in Jervis Bay. From this quantitative baseline knowledge of the flora and fauna, a monitoring program is being developed to distinguish between natural changes and those caused by events such as oil spills, or erosion run-off, by new management strategies, or by the long-term impacts of climate change. The concepts for a mathematical computer model to test the effectiveness of the monitoring strategies used in detecting simulated impacts in the bay were developed at a specially convened workshop in 1991. The first version of the model will be available in 1992-93, with enhanced versions being developed in subsequent years to refine environmental monitoring strategies. The Department of Defence no longer plans to move the Navy's base to Jervis Bay, but may still build an armaments depot there. The southern part of the bay has been declared a National Park, and tourism and urban expansions are being developed nearby. A plan for low-intensity monitoring of the "environmental health" of Jervis Bay will be available in 1992-93 for implementation by the Department of Defence and the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service who are the primary Commonwealth managers of the bay. This monitoring program will be the first comprehensive long-term biological monitoring program in Australian marine waters, and could be a model for the management of similar areas.
Years: 1988 to 1994
Remarks: Ongoing descriptions in Division of Fisheries reports, e.g. 1991-1992 p. 20-21. Final report available in 3 vols, pub. CSIRO Division of Fisheries, 1994.


There are no surveys directly linked to this project.

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