Moreton Bay SGW helping with environmentally-friendly moorings

Moreton Bay Seagrass Watch (SGWMB) has assisted in a trial of Environmentally-friendly moorings, a research project involving: the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM), Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries (QPIF), the University of Queensland (UQ), Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ), Wildlife Queensland Bayside Branch, and SEQ Catchments.

SGWMB in 2001 noticed odd pale coloured circles and arcs around vessels near Weinam Creek (Redland Bay) when examining aerial photographs (Q5260 Run 26 photo 14, 23/07/95) for the purpose of identifying future Seagrass Watch sites.  See below image. When SGWMB visited these sites they found bare seafloor, the result of anchor chains on vessels removing seagrass as the vessels moved with the wind and tides. 

Time has moved on and so has attitudes towards seagrass. Today people are working towards the creation and installation of environmentally-friendly mooring technology.

SGWMB has good data on most areas within Moreton Bay which represent the normal situation when no damage is caused by boats and their moorings (i.e. control sites). SGWMB set up six subtidal sites, two within each of three locations where moorings occur. One site is placed directly within the mooring area and the other some 50–1000 m away and outside where the moorings occur. SGWMB  monitors these six sites. The first of these periods was scheduled before the new environmentally-friendly moorings were set in place (February 2010). Monitoring at all locations (six sites) was completed by mid December 2009. Summary graphs for monitoring these sites before the installation of environmentally friendly moorings are shown below.

On Monday the 12th of September 2011 at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron (Manly) a forum was convened by SEQ Catchments to review the environmentally-friendly moorings. For more details about this event visit Seagrass Watch volunteer and Councillor for Redland City Council Debra Henry’s blog site.

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