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National Environmental Science Programme

A national synthesis of pressures and trends in the marine environment will underpin a framework for assessing the associated impacts and risks. The framework will facilitate marine spatial planning and decision-making under the EPBC Act.

A publicly accessible National Outfall Database will provide information about pollutants arising from sewerage treatment systems and their distribution. Treatment systems and outfalls will be ranked according to their efficiency and environmental impact, helping governments and communities to prioritise action and manage recreational use of the oceans in affected areas.

Datasets from Australia’s shallow reef monitoring programs - covering tropical and temperate fish, invertebrates and algae - will be integrated with information on major environmental stressors (sewage, heavy metals, fishing, rising sea temperature, introduced species) to identify impacts.

A suite of ecological indicators will be identified for use by major marine ecological monitoring programs to enable consistent environmental reporting and monitoring across the continent by a diversity of stakeholders.


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Understanding the pressures on the marine environment and their change over time is an important part of developing and prioritising management actions.