Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Program fieldwork wraps up

The Goyder Institute-led Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Phase 1 Trials and Investigations Research Components are wrapping up their intensive field program as the research enters its final stages. The components will be completed by 30 June 2022, with our research teams having put in an enormous effort since these Phase 1 investigations began in July 2020.

To celebrate this effort, we have prepared an article to highlight the hard work of our researchers and the importance of improving the environmental condition of this iconic wetland.

The $77.8 million Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin (HCHB) Program is an initiative of the Australian and South Australian governments that aims to support the long-term health of the Coorong by providing evidence-based solutions to both immediate threats and future conditions under a changing climate. The Goyder Institute for Water Research is the delivery partner for five research components of HCHB, providing independent research to inform future management decisions for the region. The Goyder Institute partners collaborating to deliver the HCHB research components are CSIRO, the Department for Environment and Water, Flinders University, the South Australian Research and Development Institute, the University of Adelaide, and the University of South Australia

The research teams have been getting their feet wet and muddy over the past 22 months, gathering critical information on the nutrient dynamics, aquatic plants and algae, waterbirds and food webs of this wetland of international importance. While our fifth Research Component team, Climate Adaptation, has not been active in the field, team members have been working hard engaging stakeholders and delivering multiple workshops over this period.

Goyder Institute Director, Dr Kane Aldridge, said “Our research teams have put in an enormous effort over the course of the Trials and Investigations projects. As the field work comes to an end, we enter an exciting final phase of the program where the research results and their implications are communicated to a wide audience. Over the next few months, our researchers will be working extremely hard to analyse and interpret the results of their work and produce a number of technical reports, which will be published by the Goyder Institute”.

HCHB Research Program Manager, Dr Alec Rolston, added “Over 70 researchers across ten collaborative institutions and organisations have been involved in delivering aspects of our HCHB field work. This has required an incredible amount of coordination and organisation. For example, our Food Webs Component team has estimated that they undertook 118 field work days in the Coorong, encompassing 3,468 person hours. A similar effort has been made across the other research components, highlighting the huge amount of work that has been undertaken along with some exceptional collaboration between research components and institutions” he said.

“We would like to thank all of our research teams for their enormous efforts, often under challenging conditions and working through a global pandemic” said Dr Aldridge. “It shows the commitment of our researchers, many of whom are early career researchers, to gather the critical data required to fill knowledge gaps and inform management decisions for the Coorong South Lagoon” he said.

More details on the Goyder-led Components of the HCHB Program can be found here. For any further information, please contact Dr Alec Rolston.

This project is part of the South Australian Government’s Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Program which is jointly funded by the Australian and South Australian governments.

Tags: Climate Resilience Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Coorong Lower Lakes & Murray Mouth SA Department for Environment and Water (DEW) Flinders University Goyder Institute News Healthy Coorong Healthy Basin Murray River Murray-Darling Basin South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) University of Adelaide University of South Australia Water for the Environment Wetlands

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