Water Quality in the Great Barrier Reef
Good water quality is the reason why the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most beautiful, diverse and complex ecosystems in the world. Reefs grow best in waters that have naturally low concentrations of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediments. Increasing use of nutrients, pesticides and other pollutants on the land has resulted in increased levels of these entering waterways and the Great Barrier Reef. The resulting decline in water quality can affect corals, seagrasses and other important habitats as well as the marine animals they support, while also having a detrimental affect on tourism and fishing industries.
The Great Barrier Reef Catchment is defined by the rivers that drain into the Great Barrier Reef and this area is the main source of sediment, nutrients and other pollutants to the Reef. The way in which the land is used and managed affects the quality of water in our rivers, estuaries and the Great Barrier Reef, particularly in those areas close to the coast.
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Catchment Map map
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