Index of Marine Surveys for Assessments (IMSA)
The Index of Marine Surveys for Assessments (IMSA) is an online portal to information about marine-based environmental surveys in Western Australia. IMSA is a project of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (the department) for the systematic capture and sharing of marine data created as part of an environmental impact assessment (EIA).
IMSA was developed in partnership with the Western Australian Marine Science Institution.
To view the IMSA portal, click here.
IMSA captures and consolidates marine data collected to support assessments under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (the EP Act) – providing a platform to make the information publicly available. The consolidation of marine environmental data in IMSA is expected to improve the EIA process by:
- getting maximum value from existing data;
- expanding the knowledge base of WA’s marine environment;
- allowing proponents to access data from other proposals;
- reducing the need for proponents to undertake timely and costly surveys;
- supporting the digital enhancement of the EIA;
- building regulator confidence in impact predictions and delivering better environmental outcomes; and
- improving public trust in the EIA through transparency and visibility of survey data.
For more information, please read the IMSA brochure.
What is the scope of IMSA?
All proponents who conduct a marine-based environmental survey to support an assessment under Parts IV and V of the EP Act are required to submit their data. This includes surveys to support the following:
- new proposals referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA);
- the EPA’s assessment of proposals;
- post-assessment requirements under Ministerial conditions; and
- applications to the department for native vegetation clearing permits, works approvals and licences.
The types of data include bathymetric and hydrodynamic input data for modelling; benthic communities and habitat; marine environmental quality; and marine fauna.
Once data has been used for assessment purposes, the department will make the information for each dataset available online via IMSA. Data owners will have control over how accessible the complete datasets are.
Submitting information to IMSA
Proponents are required to prepare IMSA data packages to accompany marine survey reports submitted to the EPA or the department during assessment processes. An IMSA data package is to be submitted electronically and will consist of:
- the survey report;
- a metadata and licencing statement;
- spatially referenced data derived from the survey; and
- associated raw datasets.
To assist proponents in preparing IMSA data packages, instructions and templates are available on the EPA’s website.
The portal and data packages are to be used in accordance with the IMSA disclaimer and the metadata and licensing statements associated with the individual data packages.
For further information on IMSA requirements and using the portal, please refer to our FAQ section.
Alternatively, please contact the IMSA team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.