Blue Sense principal, Michelle Dickson, presented at the Australian Stream Management Conference on behalf of West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and Natural Decisions revealing lessons learned in balancing productive farmland and protecting important environmental assets.
At the conference, Michelle discussed the Corner Inlet Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP) prepared for West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority to help them lead projects that improve the water quality leading into the Corner Inlet Ramsar Listed site.
Corner Inlet and its surrounding catchment in Gippsland, Victoria supports commercial fishing, tourism and recreation activities. The region has a strong agricultural history, including beef, mixed grazing enterprises and dairy, and supports production forestry.
The condition and extent of important habitat including seagrass meadows, sandflats, mangroves and saltmarsh are threatened by nutrient and sediment pollution that results mostly from catchment land uses.
Bio economic modelling and an INFFER assessment was completed to inform the development of SMART targets and the implementation plan for the WQIP.
At the Australian Stream Management Conference Michelle shared what was learned going through the process of the WQIP. This included the approach to setting water quality targets, lessons learned from bio economic modelling and how to deal with challenging results.