Why are seagrasses important – why do we monitor?
Moreton Bay supports eight seagrass species totaling 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.
Seagrass-Watch is a global scientific, non-destructive, seagrass assessment and monitoring program devised by Australia scientists.
Scientists at the Seagrass-Watch Head Quarters based at the TropWater Division of James Cook University in Townsville have developed scientifically rigorous protocols for seagrass assessment.
They work with the likes of Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland (WPSQ) to develop and expand the program, and to ensure that the program is producing data of high quality.
Since its beginning in 1998, Seagrass-Watch has expanded internationally with monitoring occurring across 17 countries at approximately 260 sites including sites at Noosa, Moreton Bay and the Gold Coast.
Moreton Bay Community Seagrass-Watch
During 2001 in collaboration with then Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service (now Department National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing) and Seagrass-Watch HQ, WPSQ (Bayside Branch) established six monitoring locations in Moreton Bay. There are now 20 locations, some with multiple sites.
Moreton Bay Community Seagrass-Watch is coordinated by Wildlife Queensland Coastal Citizen Science (WQCCS). Scientific support which underpins the program is provided by Seagrass-Watch HQ. Moreton Bay monitoring is supported by the Brisbane Airport Corporation, Port of Brisbane, SEQ Catchments, the Norman Wettenhall Foundation, WPSQ Bayside Branch, Healthy Waterways, and Tangalooma Resort.
Seagrass-Watch in South-East Queensland is coordinated by WPSQHO. Scientific support, which underpins the program, is provided by Seagrass-Watch HQ.
Seagrass-Watch in South-East Queensland is supported by the Brisbane Airport Corporation, Port of Brisbane, SEQ Catchments, the Norman Wettenhall Foundation, WPSQ Bayside Branch, Healthy Waterways, and Tangalooma Resort.
For more information on WPSQ’s projects, email or phone +61 7 3844 0129.