Sand hills of Moreton Island (Mulgumpin). Image provided by Ruth Webley

Moreton Bay Quandamooka is a culturally rich and unique biodiversity hotspot. However, continued population growth and development is impacting the Bay’s natural systems. Support from an aware community that understands and appreciates the Bay’s exceptional values is required to effect change.

The necessary next step is to identify just how members of the community appreciate Moreton Bay. “Community understanding and appreciation of the diverse values of Moreton Bay – pathways to strengthen community appreciation for Moreton Bay’s natural and cultural heritage” will examine the community’s understanding of, and willingness to take action to protect the Bay.

Investigators will use both quantitative and qualitative research approaches to identify gaps in understanding, social factors that influence stewardship across different community segments, and provide tools for use in future awareness and stewardship campaigns. The Marine Protected Area Policy Unit of the Department of Environment and Science has expressed interest in the data to be produced for use in their upcoming Moreton Bay Marine Park review and strategy development.

‘Community appreciation is led by Dr Angela Dean with participation by Professor Helen Ross, both of the University of Queensland, and Dr Paul Maxwell, environmental scientist (Adjunct Senior Fellow, Griffith University; General Manager, Eco-futures; Research Manager, Alluvium). Data collection will be supported by an existing partnership between Dr Dean and Healthy Land and Water (HLW) as Dr Dean currently manages the annual social survey for HLW’s social monitoring program, creating an opportunity to build on the existing survey platform to collect this new data.

This is one of two related projects designed to provide information about how Bay users and the broader community appreciate and understand the unique natural and cultural values of Moreton Bay. This insight will help TMBF and Bay managers to engage more purposefully with the community, working together to ensure sustainable use of the Bay. Read about the second project, Recreational Boater Use and Values.