South Australia will soon start the country’s biggest ever seagrass restoration project along Adelaide’s metropolitan coast.
The $1 million project will re-establish seagrass meadows off Adelaide’s metropolitan coast between Glenelg and Semaphore. The project will help protect Adelaide’s sea bed against erosion and support a healthy marine environment.
Over the last 50 years around one third, or 6,000 hectares, of seagrass off the Adelaide metropolitan coast has been lost. While there has been some natural regeneration of seagrass, more needs to be done to increase the seagrass habitat.
Seagrass is an important buffer for the ocean’s wave and current energy to prevent erosion of our nearshore areas. It also supports fish populations, biodiversity and good water quality.
The seagrass restoration project will use a technique developed in South Australia, which places hessian sacks on the sea floor near seagrass meadows, for young seagrass to attach to and grow.
The project aims to re-establish around 10 hectares of seagrass off the Adelaide metropolitan coastline.
Hessian bags will be placed at up to 15 sites off the Adelaide metropolitan coast later this year. The existing seagrass meadows will release young seagrass, which move through the water and attach to the hessian bags.
The sites will then be monitored and will help determine other sites for a larger scale restoration project in 2020.
The project is being delivered by the Department for Environment and Water in partnership with the South Australian Research Development Institute as part of the $5.2 million New Life for our Coastal Environment commitment.
For more information visit www.environment.sa.gov.au/coasts