EcoFutures developed a Wetland Monitoring Program for subsided panel areas of a mine site to assess the small ephemeral wetlands which have formed of the site to deliver the following objectives:
- Understand, monitor, and document the changing ecological function of the subsided panels and drainage system; and
- Build an evidence based to determine if the subsided panels along with the drainage system allows for the development of wetlands.
The Wetland Monitoring Program included:
- Water quality monitoring
- Aquatic ecology
- Habitat condition
Within the Wetland Monitoring Plan, EcoFutures identified and defined best practice monitoring methods, benchmarks and targets, monitoring locations, data analysis and quality control requirements.
The use of subsided panel areas of mines as wetlands has not been undertaken previously in Australia and there are no guidelines to support this. Implementation of this Wetland Monitoring Plan will be undertaken in 2022-2023.
The Wetland Monitoring Program may form part of the Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plan and inform an industry guideline on how to achieve wetland habitats within subsides panel areas.