Estuarine and Marine Ecology

BMT WBM commonly works with government, port authorities and industry bodies to provide marine and estuarine ecological advice.

We offer specialist expertise in the following areas:

  • Marine plant, habitat and fauna surveys – habitat mapping based on remote imagery; quantitative sampling of flora and fauna; descriptive surveys
  • Subtidal habitat and benthic community surveys – acoustic-based geophysical seabed habitat mapping; sled and drop camera based sampling of seagrass, reefs and soft sediment fauna; grab sampling of sediments and benthic fauna; diver-based sampling methods; remote operated vendor (ROV) deployment and a comprehensive range of fish sampling methods
  • Targeted vegetation and threatened fauna species assessments – including fish, marine reptile and mammal surveys
  • Monitoring program design, data analysis and management – including the design and development of reactive and proactive monitoring programs, univariate and multivariate statistical analysis, GIS-based data analyses, database development and data storage.

Recent Relevant Projects

Port Curtis Reef Community Surveys (Queensland)

In order to gain an understanding of potential environmental impacts of dredging activities, there is a need to first map and characterise potential environmental receptors within the zone of influence of dredging activities. BMT WBM conducted video transects of reefs at sites located throughout Port Curtis to describe the most significant inter- and sub-tidal reef habitats.  The study identified reefs containing high (>40%) coral cover, which are most likely to be sensitive to turbid plume impacts and represents the first empirical assessment of reef communities in Port Curtis.

Luggage Point Mangrove Rehabilitation Study (Queensland)

Brisbane City Council engaged BMT WBM to undertake an investigation of the health and viability of mangroves at Luggage Point, at the mouth of the Brisbane River. The study identified serious deterioration in the health of large areas of mangroves and identified ponding of water around the roots of the mangroves as the most likely cause of the deterioration.  BMT WBM then developed and implemented a Rehabilitation Plan that guided works to restore tidal flushing in degraded mangrove areas.  A comprehensive monitoring program was carried out, which demonstrated the effectiveness of the rehabilitation works. 

Benthic Habitat Mapping For Metung Marina in the Gippsland Lakes (Victoria)

Seagrasses and shallow coastal marine habitats are the foundations of marine ecosystems, providing food and shelter for fisheries resources and supporting biodiversity.  BMT WBM conducted an assessment of the marine benthic habitats within the vicinity of Metung Marina that aimed to identify and map habitats potentially affected by the proposed redevelopment of the marina.  The provision of precise habitat mapping in combination with a coastal processes study will allow planning and construction phases of the project to operate with minimal disruption to these areas.