cqu_614+DS2+DS2.2.pdf (3.08 MB)

Contaminant pathways in Port Curtis : final report

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posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by S Apte, Victoria Vicente-Beckett, Leonie Andersen, J Andrewarthe, B Angel, Damon Shearer, S Simpson, J Stauber
The Port Curtis Estuary has a well-developed and expanding industry within its catchment. It is also one of Australia's leading ports and is located adjacent to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. As a consequence of increasing population and industrial activities, the Port Curtis Estuary is expected to receive increasing quantities of contaminant inputs from diffuse sources (e.g. urban runoff) and point source discharges (e.g. industrial effluents). Sources of chemical stressors are many, and multiple contaminants are likely to be transported to the estuary by air and/or water. The challenge for coastal management within the region is the long-term sustainable anagement of further port and industrial development, related population growth, and the management of potentially significant impacts on coastal resources. The release, fate and impacts of contaminants generated within the region by industrial and urban activities are issues of obvious concern. When the Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management (Coastal CRC) first started its activities in Port Curtis in 1998, there were few published studies describing contaminant distributions in Port Curtis. During the first phase of its activities, the CRC undertook the Port Curtis screening level risk assessment (SLRA) (Apte et al. 2005) which employed a rigorous, riskbased approach to identify and prioritise contaminant issues of potential concern. While there were no issues of regulatory concern, the SLRA identified some contaminant-related issues worthy of further investigation which included tributyltin (TBT) in waters, the anomalous bioaccumulation of metals by biota from Port Curtis and slightly elevated concentrations of arsenic, TBT and naphthalene in sediments. Recommendations were made for future investigations. A separate CRC project developed a pilot-scale hydrodynamic model of Port Curtis which enabled water movement to be predicted. The model has clear applications to the prediction of contaminant movement, especially point source discharges associated with industrial activities. Contaminant Pathways in Port Curtis was part of Phase 2 of the CRCs activities in Port Curtis and focused on some of the key issues that were identified in the SLRA.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)





Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management

Place of Publication

Indooroopilly, Qld.

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Centre for Environmental Management; Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management; TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible

  • No