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There’s nothing like watching grass grow....

posted Jul 11, 2015, 7:57 PM by Cooloola Coastcare Association Inc.   [ updated Jul 11, 2015, 8:05 PM ]

Seagrass-Watch aims to raise awareness on the condition of nearshore seagrass ecosystems as an early warning of major coastal environmental change.

 “Engaging the community to participate in Great Sandy Strait seagrass monitoring creates increased awareness of the local marine environment, its health and seasonal variability,” said Maree Prior, Project Coordinator.

“It’s important for the community to gain an understanding of the dynamic nature of estuarine shorelines and sandflats for improved management over the long term.”

People involved in the program develop a deep sense of custodianship and understanding of their local marine environment that reaches throughout the wider community. Worldwide, coastal communities are concerned about the condition and loss of seagrasses and its implications for other parts of the ecosystem – like the loss of fisheries productivity. 

Participants of Seagrass-Watch are from a wide variety of backgrounds who all share a common interest in marine conservation, sailors and fishers of the Sandy Straits. 

What is Seagrass-Watch? 

Seagrass-Watch is a global, citizen science program in partnership with the community, qualified scientists and management agencies.  Since starting in Queensland in 1998, Seagrass-Watch has expanded internationally to 17 countries, with monitoring now occurring at over 250 sites.

Between July 2014 and January 2015, Cooloola Coastcare Seagrass-Watch volunteers successfully monitored 18 sites at eight different locations in the Great Sandy Strait, with Hervey Bay Marine Studies teacher Paul Heffernan and his Year 12 Marine Studies students from Urangan State High School tackled the Boonooroo sites in May.

This dedicated effort represents a 100% monitoring effort of all the current sites of the Great Sandy Strait, which given the vagaries of weather and tides is no mean feat!