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July 15, 2016 Projects No Comments

Why are seagrasses important – why do we monitor them?

coastal citizen science

Cleveland Point (CL1)
Photo © Debra Henry

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.

Keeping An Eye on Seagrass

Scientists at Seagrass-Watch Headquarters based at the TropWater Division of James Cook University in Townsville have developed scientifically rigorous protocols for seagrass assessment.

Since its beginning in 1998, Seagrass-Watch has expanded internationally with monitoring occurring across 17 countries at approximately 260 sites, including at Noosa, Moreton Bay and on the Gold Coast.

coastal citizen science

Moreton Bay Community Seagrass-Watch

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, Wildlife Queensland Bayside Branch, Healthy Waterways, and Tangalooma Resort.

For more information go to:

 

Acknowledgements

Seagrass-Watch in South East Queensland is coordinated by Wildlife Queensland Bayside Branch. Scientific support, which underpins the program, is provided by Seagrass-Watch HQ.

The program is supported by the Brisbane Airport Corporation, Port of Brisbane, SEQ Catchments, the Norman Wettenhall Foundation, Wildlife Queensland Bayside Branch, Healthy Waterways, and Tangalooma Resort.

 

Seagrass-Watch sponsors

 

For more information on WPSQ’s projects, email or phone +61 7 3844 0129.

 

Written by wildlife1ict