The sixth annual Community Seagrass Planting held last month at Brownlow Beach was a huge success, with 22 community volunteers planting over 700 cuttings of southern tapeweed.
Natural Resources Kangaroo Island has been working with the community to trial several restoration techniques to improve the recovery rate of seagrass meadows in Nepean Bay. One of the most successful techniques employed so far has been the annual Community Seagrass Planting Day, which has been held in mid-January since 2013.
The aim of the event is to enable the community to be directly involved in the restoration of seagrass meadows, and also learn more about this extremely important marine ecosystem.
This year’s efforts have brought the total number of southern tapeweed (Posidonia australis) plantings since 2013 to over 3,400 cuttings. On average, 75 per cent of cuttings planted have survived to date, with individual cuttings almost tripling in size after three years.
Healthy seagrass meadows support a wide variety of fish and invertebrate species including commercial and recreationally important species such as King George whiting (Sillaginodes punctatus). They also reduce wave action during winter storms, protect shorelines from coastal erosion, and can store more than twice the amount of carbon than the equivalent area of forest.
In Nepean Bay, approximately 3,500 hectares of seagrass has either been lost or significantly degraded since the 1960s, so there is still more work to be done to restore the seagrass to its former extent.
If you would like to be involved in the Community Seagrass Planting Day, or would like any further information about the work being done on seagrass meadows in Nepean Bay, contact Natural Resources Kangaroo Island on 8553 4444. Alternatively, you can visit their Events page.