Posts Tagged ‘environmental monitoring’

VE to monitor Clinton Vessel Interaction Project

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

Vision Environment buoyVision Environment (VE) will undertake an estimated nine months of water quality and light monitoring for Gladstone Ports Corporation as part of the Clinton Vessel Interaction Project, providing the port with high quality data that will enable real-time environmental management.

The project aims to widen the Clinton Channel by moving around 800,000m3 of material.

As per the government-approved CVIP Monitoring Procedure, fifteen sites in total will be monitored by VE, spanning from The Narrows to Rodds Bay and measuring water quality (specifically, turbidity) and light levels near and at sensitive receptor sites within Port Curtis.

Leonie Andersen, director at Vision Environment, says VE will also assist GPC to implement adaptive management and mitigation measures to avoid and minimise potential impacts of dredging activities on sensitive receptor sites.

“For water quality, we will use real-time buoys that monitor turbidity levels and transmit this data directly to a dashboard that we create for the client.

“Likewise, we will measure, in real time, benthic photosynthetically active radiation levels—meaning, how much light is reaching seagrass to ensure they are able photosynthesize—and transmit this to the dashboard too.

“Monthly manual water quality sampling will also be conducted to measure nutrients and contaminants,” she says.

Compliance and transparency

Leonie notes this dashboard reporting is one of the elements that makes VE’s service so crucial to its clients.

“For compliance projects, we set up a customised dashboard. It can be accessed by the client anytime; however, they will also receive mobile or email alerts if any exceedances are triggered or approach threshold levels.

“This allows them to truly manage their dredge in real time,” she says.

“Companies feel confident they can rely on us when it comes to meeting both regulatory requirements and the public’s expectations for full transparency of compliance data.”

In addition to a client dashboard, VE will enable Gladstone Ports to provide a public site showing real-time water quality data.

“Although this monitoring is as a standalone project, VE has a long history of working with Gladstone Ports” says Leonie.

“VE were responsible for the water quality monitoring for the three-year Western Basin Dredge project in 2010, the Chanel Duplication EIS 2015 and the last seven maintenance dredge programs for GPC since 2014.

“Therefore, we have a detailed understanding of the area’s natural expected background conditions, which means we can add significant value in terms of proactively minimising any potential environmental impacts.”

Proprietary instrumentation and technology

Carsten Wolff, Research & Design Manager, says VE will also use an instrument they have developed themselves over the past five years to measure continuous sedimentation rates (deposition or erosion of sediments and change in bed level) at two sites.

“We found the existing approach of using sediment traps was inadequate as they only measure the amount of sediments being deposited, but not the net transport overall, as sediments can remobilise quite quickly.

“It’s important to measure actual bed level change to determine if there is any smothering of sensitive habitats like coral and seagrass. So we have designed, developed and refined our own instrument over time, which is similar to a side scan sonar.

“It has proved invaluable over a number of projects” he says.