Seagrass along the Adelaide metropolitan coast has been monitored by the department since 1987, following the loss of around one third of seagrass along Adelaide’s metropolitan coast over the last half century.
Brass rods installed on the sea floor at a number of locations are surveyed and photographed annually to identify any changes in the seabed level, including observations on seagrass species composition and overall condition.
The monitoring has shown that where seagrass has been lost, there is a deepening of the seabed of up to one metre in places. This has resulted in an increase in the wave energy that reaches our beaches and has contributed to increased beach erosion.
In recent years, because of water quality improvements, the monitoring has also captured seagrass regeneration at various locations along the Adelaide metropolitan coast. These sites are revisited regularly to monitor the slow progression of the recolonising seagrass patches to form more complex meadows.