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Wharf Expansion Coral Monitoring project Darwin Harbour


The complexity of the project and its location within an ecologically sensitive marine environment demanded a robust monitoring program. This program was necessary to assess potential impacts on coral and filter-feeder communities and to secure regulatory approvals from commonwealth and state authorities. Moreover, the program had to evaluate the effects of construction and dredging activities over multiple years, requiring an effective and sustainable methodology.


Geo Oceans developed and deployed a quantitative benthic monitoring program to meet this challenge, employing a novel diverless methodology using towed cameras and ROV techniques. This approach was designed to reduce environmental disturbance while providing comprehensive data.

Commonwealth and state regulators reviewed and approved the methodology, highlighting its alignment with environmental standards. Each survey used Geo Oceans’ proprietary GO Visions software and hardware technology to inspect ten monitoring sites, ensuring extensive project ecological footprint coverage.

The program was designed as a before, after, control, and impact (BACI) study, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of the project’s environmental impact at different stages. Rigorous statistical analysis of the collected data offered a clear understanding of the project’s environmental impact.

The monitoring program was implemented successfully and met the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

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Geo Ocean employee operating equipment in a high-vis overalls