Coastal infrastructure projects, such as the construction of gas pipelines and ports, have potential to impact on adjacent mangrove ecosystems as a result of vegetation clearance, dust deposition and/or sand excavation, dredging and jetting activities.
Astron has been undertaking surveys, mapping, health monitoring, and Before-After/Control-Impact (BACI) studies within mangrove communities along the Pilbara coast and nearby off-shore islands since 2000. Astron’s experience in designing monitoring programs for mangrove communities enables our clients to efficiently comply with all relevant legislation, Ministerial Conditions and lease agreements.
The methodology that we apply depends on site and monitoring program objectives. In general, measures of mangrove leaf damage and canopy cover are undertaken in each survey. Wherever possible, quantitative techniques are applied such as analysis of cover from remotely sensed imagery and measurements of physiological health using chlorophyll fluorescence.
In some monitoring programs, challenges include broad-scale surveys in remote environments with significant access restrictions. These challenges have been overcome through utilising a marine vessel to access otherwise inaccessible areas and the application of remote sensing analysis.