Seagrass-Watch Gold Coast

Seagrass-Watch Gold Coast

Key Partners:

Caring for our Country, Seagrass-Watch Head Quarters, South East Queensland Catchments, Wildlife Preservation Society Queensland, Wildlife Preservation Society Queensland – Bayside Branch, Queensland Government, Gold Coast City Council, Gold Coast Catchment Association, Queensland Conservation Council, Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program and Gecko.
The program is primarily funded by Caring for our Country with assistance from Gold Coast City Council, Gold Coast Catchment Association and Wildlife Preservation Society – Bayside Branch.

Location:

Gold Coast Region

Currumbin Creek site 1

Currumbin Creek site 1

South Stadbroke Island site 1

South Stadbroke Island site 1

Description of your area of interest:

Marine coastlines and estuaries in particular intertidal zones with seagrass meadows, from the Broadwater to Currumbin.

Objectives:

To raise awareness on the condition and trend of nearshore seagrass ecosystems and provide an early warning of major coastal environmental changes.

Monitoring efforts are vital to assist with tracking global patterns in seagrass health, and assessing the human impacts which have the potential to destroy or degrade these coastal ecosystems and decrease their yield of natural resources. Responsive management based on adequate information will help to prevent any further significant areas and species being lost.

To protect the valuable seagrass meadows along our coasts, everyone must work together.

History:

Seagrass-Watch is a global, scientific, non-destructive, community based, seagrass assessment and monitoring program. Since its genesis in 1998 in Australia, Segarass-Watch has expanded internationally with participants in 26 countries.

Seagrass-Watch established on the Gold Coast in 2007 with participants attending a workshop run by Len McKenzie Principal Scientist of the Northern Fisheries Centre (Cairns) and Program Coordinator for Seagrass-Watch Head Quarters. Participants were trained in scientific procedures to collect data on the health and condition of seagrass, with the field component being conducted in Currumbin Creek.

Southport site1

Southport site1

Socialising after a monitoring session

Socialising after a monitoring session

Since this time, Seagrass-Watch Gold Coast volunteers actively participated in the habitat mapping component of Gold Coast City Councils, Marine Turtle Ecology project conducted by the Planning, Environment & Transport Directorate. This information provided good baseline data for the distribution of seagrass within the Gold Coast region and will assist the program with the identification of new monitoring sites.

Currently new sites are being established in Tallebudgera Creek, South Stradbroke Island, Brown Island, Wavebreak Island and Crab Island.

Feather star surrounded by seagrass - Halophila ovalis

Feather star surrounded by seagrass – Halophila ovalis

Some of the locals

Some of the locals

Projects:

Established sites include Currumbin and Tallebudgera Creek’s, Wavebreak, Brown and South Stradbroke Island’s and Southport.

Other information:

If the idea of an outing with nature, and the knowledge that your participation assists in the management of our natural ecosystems appeals to you then please join the Seagrass-Watch Gold Coast team.

Monitoring is conducted three times per year; March/April, July/August and November/December and takes approximately three hours to complete over low tide.

Training days are held each monitoring season to enable new volunteers to acquire the skills necessary for the successful monitoring of a site.

Please bring a hat, sunscreen, closed in shoes that can get wet and muddy as well as plenty of water.

FREE – Seagrass-Watch HQ Workshop 1

Participants will learn about seagrass ecology and biology, why seagrass is importants and how they can be damaged.

Participants will be trained to identify local seagrass species, use rapid visual assessment methods (% cover) and accurately record data.

Saturday June 30th and Sunday 1st July David Fleays Wildlife Park, Burleigh Heads

Pre-requisite;

Participants must be 17 years of age and have participated in at least one field monitoring/training day (see below for next training day)

Register @ www.seagrasswatch.org/training.html#workshop12

Maximum of 25 participants

Time of next training day:

Sunday 3rd June
Tallebudgera Creek site 2
Meet at 12:00 noon

Please contact coordinator for details and bookings and for catering purposes

Potential Seagrass-Watch sites in the Broadwater

Potential Seagrass-Watch sites in the Broadwater

Contact Details:

Primary contact person
Name Daniela Wilken-Jones
Mobile 0432 988 513
Email               goldcoastseagrasswatch@hotmail.com

Website address

www.seagrasswatch.org

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