Healthy Land and Water, in partnership with the Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA), has recently completed installing another 22 Environmentally Friendly Moorings (EFMs) in Jacobs Well and Steiglitz (Cabbage Tree Point). The EFMs are replacing traditional block and tackle moorings that damage the seabed with chains that rip up seagrass, creating dead zones with very little habitat value or sea life.
Several healthy samples of seagrass have been collected directly next to the existing dead zones in Jacobs Well and Steiglitz. This is a positive sign for future seagrass recovery within these dead zones. Marine Park Seagrass meadows provide essential habitat for many marine species and are a key food source for dugongs and green turtles. These meadows are also home to juvenile fish and crustaceans which are highly sought-after by commercial and recreational fishers. Healthy Land and Water will continue to monitor the seagrass over coming years to document this recovery.
Previously at Jacobs Well, moorings were spread up and down the channel, however, as part of the installation of the new EMFs, the mooring field has been successfully consolidated into a grid pattern seen below.
“Healthy Land and Water coordinates the recovery of seagrass in priority areas. The EFM project aims to see the recovery of the seagrass by removing the impact that traditional moorings have on the seabed. The newly installed EFM’s will allow the seagrass to naturally recover and benefit the overall benthic ecosystem and food chain,” said Julie McLellan, CEO of Healthy Land and Water.
Healthy Land and Water and GCWA have worked closely with existing buoy mooring owners to transition them to the new EFMs.
“We’re pleased to form a partnership with Healthy Land and Water to deliver a positive outcome for the environment and waterways users. The installation of Environmentally Friendly Moorings is supported by GCWA’s Buoy Mooring Strategy which sets managing the environmental impacts of buoy moorings as a priority,” said Hal Morris, CEO of GCWA.
“GCWA’s Board has decided that from mid-2024, every buoy mooring in Gold Coast waters will transition to an EFM. These installations are an important first step towards achieving that objective,” said Mr Morris.
Read more about the Gold Coast Water Authority mooring management strategy here.