Mapping social values of Moreton Bay

The Sustainable Urban Seascapes, Moreton Bay project not only focused on the outstanding ecological values of the region but also had a research theme focused on social values. This theme aimed to learn more about the places in Moreton Bay that people value.


Postdoctoral fellow Dr Vicki Martin led a project focused on capturing the values of one important stakeholder group, recreational motor vessel users. The project used a combination of in-person and online survey questions within a Geographical Information System to record and map the values held by recreational boaters. A team of researchers visited popular boat ramps across the region in 2022 and received 304 valid surveys. As a result, 14 value types were mapped across the region (e.g., “therapeutic reasons”, “experiencing nature”, “spiritual connections”). The most popular value type was appreciating the natural beauty.

Project lead Dr Vicki Martin collects data from a recreational boater, at an event organised by The Moreton Bay Foundation, a financial supporter of this project.
Photo credit: Carissa Klein.

The data collected in this project are of interest to Queensland’s Department of Environment, Science and Innovation for informing marine management decisions. It inspired the development of an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, led by Associate Professor Carissa Klein. The research was also the foundation of a project currently being run by The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, for developing the Southern Great Barrier Reef Plan of Management: gbrmpa.gov.au/our-work/programs-and- projects/southern-plan-management

For more information about this and other social value projects in Moreton Bay, please contact Dr Claudia Benham, Associate Professor Carissa Klein, or Dr Vicki Martin (vicki.martin@mosaicinsights.com.au).

The research was also the foundation of a project currently being run by The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, for developing the Southern Great Barrier Reef Plan of Management.

Map Data showing how much and where 297 survey recreational boaters appreciated natural beauty. The bigger the dot, the more the place is valued for its natural beauty. More results can be found on the project’s website. Visit it here: bit.ly/MoretonBayStudy.
Photo credit: Bridey Crowe.

Read more of these stories in Issue 18 of the CBCS Newsletter and follow us on X (Twitter) and LinkedIn.

Project members

Associate Professor Carissa Klein

ARC Future Fellow
School of the Environment
Deputy Director - Advancement
Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science

Dr Vicki Martin

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Visiting Fellow
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Dr Claudia Benham

Lecturer in Environmental Management and Planning Policy and ARC DECRA Fellow
School of the Environment