Reef Rescue Marine Monitoring Program (RRMMP) - Overview

Riverine flood plumes affecting the Great Barrier Reef lagoon

Inshore coral reefs and seagrass meadows of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are located in shallow waters and generally experience higher water turbidity and nutrient concentrations than ecosystems further offshore. These areas in the central and southern GBR are exposed to land runoff carrying excess amounts of fine sediments, nutrients and pesticides that have increased several-fold since European settlement.

Concern about negative effects of land runoff on marine ecosystems triggered management action by the Australian and Queensland governments in 2003 for catchments adjacent to the GBR World Heritage Area. The Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan (Reef Plan) has the primary goal of ensuring that ‘Good water quality sustains the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef, builds resilience, improves ecosystem health, and benefits communities.’ Reef Plan actions include setting targets for reductions of nutrients and sediments in runoff (implemented through the Paddock to Reef program) and establishing monitoring programs to assess the effectiveness of management actions.

Monitoring of inshore water quality and ecosystem health commenced in 2005 as part of the Marine Monitoring Program (MMP) in partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). This program is a collaborative effort between the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), James Cook University (JCU), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) at the University of Queensland. Each aspect of the MMP can be explored in more detail below.

Further reading

2017 Scientific Consensus Statement: Land use impacts on Great Barrier Reef water quality and ecosystem condition

Measuring progress towards Reef Plan goals with annual Reef Report Cards


1. Google Earth version 5.2 has a bug that prevents it from displaying the plots when the KMZ is loaded from a path with a space in it. Until a work around is found open the KMZ from a path such as C:\tmp\

File WQ_locations_from2017.kmz8.27 KB