Coastal Citizen Science
© Canva NFP
Seagrass and mangroves are valuable resources. They provide food and shelter for a multitude of species, including prawns, fish and crabs. Seagrass, in particular, is vital for sea turtles, dugongs and shorebirds. Yet our seagrasses and mangroves are under constant threat from both natural and human impacts.
By joining the Wildlife Queensland Coastal Citizen Science team of volunteers, you can be trained to help while simultaneously contributing to the long-term conservation of Moreton Bay.
Why monitor seagrasses?
Moreton Bay supports eight seagrass species totalling about 25,000 ha, which occur in intertidal and sub-tidal areas. The benefits of seagrasses are many. They:
- buffer and filter nutrient and chemical inputs
- stabilise coastal sediments
- provide food and shelter for many organisms
- are nursery grounds for commercially important prawn and fish species
- store carbon 35 times faster than rainforests
- lock carbon in for thousands of years.
Despite these significant benefits 50% of Australia’s seagrasses have been destroyed by dredging and pollution. And, when exposed to air, the sediment beneath seagrass releases greenhouse gases.
Endangered dugong rely on seagrass in Moreton Bay.
Why monitor mangroves?
The Moreton Bay area has eight species of mangroves covering approximately 13,500 hectares, with the grey mangrove (Avicennia marina) dominating. Mangroves have multiple merits, they are coastal:
- canaries — early indicators of change in aquatic health
- kidneys — trapping and filtering sediments
- nurseries — being essential habitat for fish crabs and prawns
- buffers — providing protection against waves, coastal erosion and storm tide surges
- lungs — with super carbon storage capacity: 5x more storage than other forests and 50x faster.
Mangrove also provide valuable ecosystem services, making dieback and loss of mangrove habitat extremely concerning.
Mangroves sequester carbon and are important fish and crab nurseries.