CQU Opens Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre

CQU Opens Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre

Gladstone’s marine ecosystem is set for a boost with the opening today of CQUniversity’s $6.6 million Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre (CMERC) at the Gladstone Marina Campus.

CQUniversity Chancellor Mr John Abbott AM and Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp were joined by Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett to officially open the research facility.

“This facility, which has been in operation for about 12 months now, allows CQUniversity’s CMERC team to undertake proactive and applied research in order to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing coastal marine ecosystems,” Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott said today’s official opening marked an important milestone not just for our University but the Gladstone community as a whole.

“CMERC is the only coastal and marine research facility based in Central Queensland and which has a specific focus on the Southern Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

“It features world-class research equipment and laboratories with access to cutting-edge analytical capabilities,” he said.

CMERC Director Associate Professor Emma Jackson explained that 80 percent of Australia’s population was coastal and 95 percent of all commercially-important fish species depended on coastal habitats at some point during their lifecycle.

“Our marine and coastal ecosystems provide immense value to our coastal communities, they provide seafood, recreation, tourism, filter out pollution, capture and store carbon, and naturally protect our coastlines and infrastructure from storm surges,” Dr Jackson said.

“I am very excited to be working with a great team of researchers, students and support staff to deliver this research and to partner locally with Gladstone Ports Corporation, Gidarjil Development Corporation, Burnett Mary Regional Group, Fitzroy Basin Association and many others to deliver research solutions for unique coastal systems.”