Victoria Point – a hot spot for human impacts

Victoria Point like Wynnum is one of the first sites monitored by the Moreton Bay Community Seagrass Watch project; May 2001 to be exact.

Click here to view data -> Victoria Point seagrass watch data

This length of time means Victoria Point becomes an ideal candidate to closely examine for the purpose of helping us better understand seasonal trends and changes in seagrass biomass. As you can see from the chart, the records are extensive and show fluctuations over time.

Victoria Point is also interesting because it is a hot spot when it comes to human impacts on seagrass meadows.

It was at Victoria Point that ‘halos’, those bare sandy circles caused by anchor chain damage, were first brought to the attention of authorities. When the project managers for Moreton Bay Community Seagrass Watch first started examining potential seagrass monitoring sites in 2001 they utilised a variety of tools to do so.  One of these tools was 1995 aerial photography. These maps showed unusual white features near the shoreline of Redland Bay, Victoria Point and some islands. See below. After on ground examination was undertaken they were able to associate these white features on the map with bare sand patches in seagrass meadows, the result of anchor chain damage. Today SEQ Catchments is doing some great work in replacing current moorings with new eco-friendly ones. These provide a great mooring site and one that protects seagrass.

Victoria Point is also where we started to see the impact of Caulerpa taxifolia a natural occurring species of macro algae that is feared could replace seagrass when it’s under stress.  While it naturally occurs in Moreton Bay it is causing problems in other states and extreme problems in places like the Mediterranean where it allegedly arrived as an aquarium escapee.  Victoria Point is one place we see Caulerpa taxifolia and we are watching it carefully.  We have supplied our data to researchers like Dr Dana Burfeind who has done some great work on this macro algae.

Another human impact noted at Victoria Point is one caused by stormwater drains. These drains empty directly onto seagrass meadows and have resulted in seagrass being gouged away leaving half circle bare patches around the exit point of these drains. Where stormwater enters into natural and man-made wetland systems, these impacts are removed.

It’s these types of observations that are leading to changes in human practices, which ultimately is better for people and the environment.

Redland Bay - anchor damage

Redland Bay - anchor damage

Caulerpa taxifolia

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