Lyttelton Port of Christchurch, New Zealand Dredge Project
Water quality monitoring and data collection undertaken by Vision Environment (VE) for Lyttelton Port of Christchurch, the South Island’s largest port, commenced in August 2016. Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) is proposing a Channel Deepening Project (CDP) to widen, deepen and extend the existing navigational channel to allow larger vessels access to the Port. The existing channel is proposed to be lengthened by approximately 6.4 km, widened by 20 m and deepened by 5 – 6 m.
VE has installed 14 telemetered real time monitoring stations including ADCP, in addition to a number of benthic measuring units and a weather station. The buoys have been modified to withstand the extreme weather conditions experienced on the SE New Zealand coastline. The real time monitoring is being supplemented by regular water sampling for a range of parameters. The marine water quality environmental monitoring services will provide interpreted baseline data to support the process of the Environmental Monitoring and Management Plan (EMMP) for the LPC CDP and ascertain the potential impacts of the project. VE has established a branch office and maintenance facility in Christchurch to support its New Zealand operations.
Abbot Point Ambient Monitoring Project
North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) required the implementation of an ambient marine water quality monitoring program at Abbot Point, similar to Port of Mackay and Hay Point QLD, in order to monitor ambient conditions when no development was being undertaken.
The program is designed to ramp up considerably during development, to ensure that any potential impacts on sensitive receptors (the adjacent Great Barrier Reef Marine Park) are properly understood. Federal approvals for dredging and expansion of the terminal have been gained, although strict conditions have been imposed. The proposed area to be dredged will remove approximately 3 Mm3, likely to an onshore disposal location.
Ambient monitoring commenced in October 2015 and is ongoing for at least 12 months. VE is responsible for the water quality component of the project in an exposed offshore area up to 25 m depth.
TasPorts Devonport Dredge Project
VE recently implemented a five month baseline, compliance and post dredge monitoring for the TasPorts Devonport Dredging project in Tasmania, as per the adaptive dredge management plan (ADMP) developed for the project. The ADMP was developed to manage risks associated with a scallop bed adjacent to the project area. Monitoring included benthic telemetered physicochemical loggers (in triplicate at each site) and telemetered ADCP providing real time current data for predictive dredge plume movements. An in house designed Acoustic (non-cabled) data delivery system was constructed for the project, in order to combat the harsh Bass Strait environment. To our knowledge this was a first for acoustic delivery of physchem data in Australia.
Through collaboration with Babel-sbf Pty Ltd, a compliance dredging status App or Widget, for SMART devices or PC viewing was introduced to the project. Real time SMART data was pushed to the Widget displaying a current dredging status value against the compliance trigger value in a colour coded dial, in addition to real time dredge movements through AIS. The Widget was utilised by the client for the ultimate quick status update, but was also linked to the client website for public access. The Widget was introduced as an Australian first to the TasPorts Devonport Project and assisted to keep the client, Technical Advisory Committee and public immediately informed.
Western Basin Dredge & Disposal Project
VE has undertaken dredge assessment and compliance monitoring in Gladstone for most major capital works dredge events since 2000, including providing compliance monitoring for both the QCLNG Narrows Crossing project and the Western Basin Dredge and Disposal Project (WBDDP), over a three-year period.
These projects have included the use of continuous telemetered data loggers, in conjunction with physical measurements of a range of parameters. VE developed its own in-house technology for telemetered PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) for the continuous measurement of benthic light, which to our knowledge was a commercial first in Australia. Monitoring methodology designed by VE researchers has been incorporated into a number of Environmental Management Plans including the use of telemetered PAR in a best-practice light based approach for the management of seagrass habitats, for Gladstone Ports Corporation
and Queensland Gas Company.
As the primary environmental contractor for what was the second largest dredging project in Australia to date, VE has experienced first-hand the unforeseen issues which can develop during development and construction projects. As a result of those issues there has been a greater amount of scrutiny from both regulators and stakeholders, including SEWPAC (Commonwealth Department of Environment), GBRMPA (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority) and UNESCO, of future developments adjacent to or within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This has resulted in a heightened level of the due diligence process, potentially raising the benchmark for future projects in Queensland. VE has demonstrated the ability to rise to that challenge, surpassing our client’s needs and expectations.
Gladstone Harbour Channel Duplication EIS
2013 – Current
VE is responsible for the program design and implementation of baseline water quality monitoring for the EIS. Generally water quality monitoring for an EIS could include the use of telemetered physicochemical loggers, telemetered PAR loggers, sedimentation rates (automated continuous data) and discrete water sampling. VE has developed new technology and instrumentation to permit the simultaneous measurement of benthic and surface physicochemical parameters in conjunction with benthic PAR and sedimentation rates for projects of this type.
VE is also undertaking the marine ecology component of the EIS, which generally includes assessment of coral habitats, fish, macrobenthic and mangrove communities.
Desalination Plant Monitoring
VE was responsible for the development and implementation of a desalination plant Water Quality Management Plan, to be undertaken as per Department of Environment and Heritage permit conditions. The plan comprised a Receiving Environment Monitoring Program, including assessment of water quality, algal assemblages and macroinvertebrate communities, and an Entrained Organism Monitoring Program, which focused on zooplankton communities. VE undertook both the baseline and operational monitoring phases.
In a concurrent study, VE also conducted diver assessments of the benthic habitat surrounding the offshore plant infrastructure to assess substrate characteristics via coring, analysis and contaminant assessment, as well as assessment of benthic communities. Information was collated and used to construct a risk assessment for potential future contamination scenarios for provision to regulators. Diving assessments have also been undertaken regularly to inspect and report on plant infrastructure.
|“We were impressed by the VE team’s high standard of marine field skills in designing the program and collecting data for the project, as well as the level of scientific knowledge, which was reflected in their reports.”|