Those of us who are fortunate enough to spend time on the Bay and enjoying its shores will have noticed the significant increase in boat traffic on the water since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. On its own, this raises questions about the impact on sensitive habitats and organisms, as well as the enjoyment by others of the Bay’s natural values. Add in the 2032 Olympic Games and the 2022 Marine Park review and the need for understanding vessel use and its consequences has become vitally important.

The Mapping social values and activities of recreational motor vessel users in Moreton Bay project, also supported by the Department of Environment & Science (DES), is designed to identify the where, what and why of recreational motor vessel use on the Bay. The spatial use and values data produced will be integrated into a single online story map that will be used to identify areas of potential conflict over future management decisions, as well as areas of mutual interests where user groups might come together to support protection of areas of ecological, social and cultural importance.

The project is led by Dr Vicki Martin, Dr Claudia Benham and A/Professor Carissa Klein from the University of Queensland, with staff and vessel support by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.