This project, funded by the Australian Government, aims to set up a predictive mapping tool tailored to 6 regions of Australia (Northern Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, North Eastern Victoria, South and North NSW and Southern Queensland) that experienced severe fires and downstream coastal impacts.
A natural sequence of events occurs following bushfires which sees ash high in nutrients enter streams and then oceans with rainfall. This and other processes can lead to outcomes very unfavourable for our aquatic life often resulting in migration to better water if possible, extreme animal stress or fish kills. In a world with human development such as farming and building and limits on the extent of natural processes such as back burning and putting out lightning strikes, the impacts of a bushfire can be severe. Not only at the time of the fire but in the days, weeks and months post fire.
By combining coastal community and seafood industry knowledge, exposure and vulnerability data with natural hazard predictions, the tool aims to make qualitative cause and impact predictions. Following which, communities can then discuss, plan and prioritise appropriate responsive actions using this information, which is focused on improving the outcome for fish habitats.
This leads to a more prepared coastal community and seafood industry with better evidence for future policy development and decision making.
The project aims to:
Provide direction for OceanWatch to assist bushfire impacted regional NRMs and seafood industry/coastal communities with intermediate and long-term prioritisation of landscape style restoration.
Provide tools and methods to accelerate the coordination of current and future post environmental disasters impacting aquatic habitats and the marine environment.
This project is supported by the Australian Government’s investment in bushfire recovery for wildlife and their habitats.