Monitoring the south coast lows

Following on from a recent United Nations Environment Program report suggesting that, like local forests, the rest of the Earth is close to an ecological tipping point, after which ” … abrupt and possibly irreversible changes to the life-support functions of the planet are likely to occur”.

The United Nations conference on sustainable development or Rio+20 later this month, which Prime Minister Gillard is attending, is described in the Sydney Morning Herald as a ‘talkfest’ as no binding outcomes are proposed, rather – ” ‘sustainable development goals’ – matters such as energy and water use, oceans and food security, with the aim of having them finished by 2015.”

On the water issue the recent ‘south coast low’ was perhaps a text book example of the major force that has shaped the South East Corner Bioregion. The combination of bucketing rain and hurricane force winds has a generally devastating impact on forests and soils, with East Gippsland really copping it on this occasion.

One of the ‘sustainable management goals’ for koala habitat is to get a handle on the impact of the forces that work outside current management and the monitoring of storm water is the most important.

Nowadays such monitoring is achieved with automated equipment able to measure water flow and turbidity, so it’s just a question of whether the Southern Rivers CMA etc. also think such information is important. If so, and due to their current and proposed management regimes the catchments of Wapengo, Dignams and another sub-catchment in the Murrah River would be ideal candidates.

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