Tin Can Inlet Rehabilitation
Happening right now
Seagrass Sled in action underwater
Can you help us with this underwater survey?
We need volunteers with a boat and time to tow our seagrass sled and make recordings of the seafloor over the next 3 months.
Contact: Lindy Orwin
TRAINING: Seagrass Sled Deployment
21 and 22 June 2021
Trainer: Dr James Udy
Vessel: Wolf Rock Dive boat
Fishing History of Tin Can Inlet
Collection of stories & scanning of historical photos at
Tin Can Bay Markets
Rainbow Beach Markets
and in the library and online.
Contact: Lindy Orwin
Seagrass sled ready for testing
Testing the seagrass sled in the pool
Tin Can Inlet Location & Significance
Tin Can Inlet is part of the larger Tin Can Bay which is located on the Cooloola Coast of Queensland adjacent to the towns of Tin Can Bay, Cooloola Cove and Rainbow Beach. It is part of
Tin Can Inlet has extensive inshore seagrass meadows and intertidal flats. The upper inlet contains brackish waters associated with wallum heath. There are extensive mangrove zones and saltmarsh along estuary with Avicennia, Ceriops and Aegialitis recorded and it is the southern distributional limit of mangrove species Aegialitis annulata, Xylocarpus granatum and Osbornia octodonta. Mosaics of mangrove, seagrass and coral reefs provide habitat for high diversity of fish. The Inlet is the habitat for dugong; coral reefs in the area support scribbled angelfish Chaetodontoplus duboulayi and Müllers butterflyfish Chelmon mulleri at the southern end of their range; and areas of hard and soft coral. (Source Queensland Department of Environment and Science 2021).
The mooring problem
Underwater research conducted by Cooloola Coastcare in 2017 -18 and 19 indicates that Tin Can Inlet is at crisis point for biodiversity loss and sediment impact. Evidence shows that the block and tackle moorings and sediment runoff are contributing factors. Without a concerted effort on multiple fronts including mooring replacement with seagrass friendly alternatives and weed and erosion control on the foreshore, Tin Can Inlet risks habitat collapse which will further impact the ecosystem and the tourism and fishing industries that rely on the Inlet . This could impact land values in the future and affects quality of life of the residents and enjoyment of the area by visitors.
What can Cooloola Coastcare do?
The overall aim is to engage the stakeholders and government organisations with jurisdiction over Tin Can Inlet, the moorings and the surrounding areas to develop a 10 year plan to rehabilitate Tin Can Inlet to a healthy ecosystem with thriving marine life and a healthy natural foreshore for the enjoyment of local residents and visitors as well as the sustainable use by commercial entities that make their living in the area. Through 'Collective Impact' we can all work towards a future in which Tin Can Inlet is a healthy, thriving ecosystem capable of sustainable use for pleasure and commerce.
Part of a bigger picture
Sustainable Development Goal 14 of the United Nations aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”. Achieving this goal will require rebuilding the marine life-support systems that deliver the many benefits that society receives from a healthy ocean.
Some species of marine turtle and all dugongs depend on seagrass for food. Many marine creatures that don't eat seagrass depend on the habitat it creates for their food.
2017 - 2018 Cooloola Underwater Biodiversity Assessment
2018 - 2019 Cooloola Sediment Investigation
Tin Can Inlet Rehabilitation Planning
2019 - 2020 Stage 1: Creating a plan for replacing the moorings with Environmentally Friendly Moorings (EFM) under the scientific guidance of Healthy Land and Water. (Completed)
2021 Stage 2: Identifying the most suitable first mooring field for replacement and raising awareness of mooring owners and the community.
2022 and beyond: Tin Can Inlet Rehabilitation - Mooring Replacement Program Funding Applications.
Tin Can Inlet Rehabilitation - Mooring Replacement
How can you help?
Join Cooloola Coastcare and volunteer.
Actively participate in community forums and consultation processes.
Become a Citizen Scientist and help us with Water Quality Monitoring through WaterWatch and volunteer your boat or your time to conduct our 2021 Seagrass Survey by boat using our seagrass sled during May - July 2021.
Contact us with info about your organisation, it's role in the use or protection of Tin Can Inlet and join us in our mission to improve this ecosystem.
Donate to our work, sponsor us or help us seek grant funding.
Send us digital copies of photos of Tin Can Inlet in the past that show seagrass, mangroves, the history of the Inlet and the nature that lives there.
Become part of the solution.
Reports and Plans
What's Next? Stage 2
Application has been made to the Gympie Regional Council Environment Grants to fund the following activities.
A Seagrass Survey to prioritise the 9 mooring fields. This includes the construction of a 'seagrass sled' to carry underwater cameras.
Mooring Owners Town Hall Meeting & 1:1 meetings.
Construction of Static Displays of Environmentally Friendly Mooring Models for display in the community and use at meetings.
Historical Research into seagrass and fishing in Tin Can Inlet.
Meet the Locals
Species identified in the 2018 - 2019 Research Dives
Ascidians (10 species)
(Crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimps, prawns and barnacles)
(Starfish, brittle stars, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sand dollars, and crinoids)
Target fishing species
Communities of Practice
Environment Levy Grants
2017, 2019, 2020, 2021