environment management thresholds

Development of environmental management thresholds

A key element in the design of environmental monitoring programs is the determination of thresholds, beyond which it is considered that there has been a risk of unacceptable environmental impact.

The determination of thresholds is particularly important for projects with unique requirements or that fall outside the scope of established precedents.  BMT Oceanica has extensive experience in the development of environmental thresholds that meet the needs of customers and regulators.  Establishment of such thresholds requires an expert knowledge of relevant environmental ‘cause-effect’ pathways, the likely response of key biological indicators to anthropogenic pressures, and the point at which measured changes in the indicators represent ecologically relevant change. BMT Oceanica has developed environmental thresholds for a number of projects:

  • Aquaculture
    • Sediment infauna - based on organic carbon deposition rates
    • Phase-shifts from coral to macroalgal communities – based on biologically available nitrogen
  • Treated wastewater outlets
    • Coastal macroalgal communities  - based on biochemical signatures and community composition
  • Dredging
    • Sediment and light thresholds for benthic communities and spawning fish
  • Desalination and power station discharges
    • Physico-chemical triggers
marine resources


BMT Oceanica has provided services to major aquaculture developments and has a thorough understanding of the issues and regulatory requirements.

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marine outfalls 2

Ocean outfalls

BMT Oceanica has extensive experience in the monitoring and management of ocean outfalls.

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dredging spoil disposal

Dredging and spoil disposal

BMT Oceanica has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the environmental management of both capital and maintenance dredging campaigns.

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