Environmentally friendly moorings

Environmentally friendly moorings

 

Working with mooring holders to install environmentally friendly moorings to protect seagrass habitat in Moreton Bay.

 

Air photo of bat with environmentally friendly mooringsEnvironmentally friendly moorings.The Environmentally friendly moorings (EFM) program is protecting seagrass meadows and associated marine habitats by replacing existing block and tackle moorings with an environmentally friendly alternative. 

Environmentally friendly moorings are designed to ensure mooring chains are kept off the sea floor, protecting seagrass and preventing further damage.

Moreton Bay is a Ramsar-listed wetland of international importance that covers an area of approximately 23,000 km2 and nurtures the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Many species in Moreton Bay including dugongs, fish, and crustaceans rely on seagrass meadows for food and habitat.

The newly installed EFMs will allow the seagrass to naturally recover and benefit the overall benthic ecosystem and food chain.

 

What we are doing

We are collaborating with mooring holders, state agencies, Traditional Owners, community groups, and the boating community to replace damaging blocks and tackle moorings with an environmentally friendly alternative in Moreton Bay.

 

Measuring success

To date, the program has delivered:

  • More than 230 traditional block and tackle moorings were replaced with environmentally friendly moorings within Moreton Bay.
  • Over 6.6 ha of seagrass recovery and a total benthic zone recovery area of 15.39 ha.

There has been an EFM uptake of 70% at Minjerribah (North Stradbroke), 52% at Point Halloran, and 74% at Coochiemudlo Island. 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.

  

Why this project is important

Seagrass meadows occur in shallow coastal waters across the world and are one of the most important marine habitats globally. Seagrass meadows are found in parts of Queensland, both in the beautiful Moreton Bay and the Great Barrier Reef.

Seagrass meadows provide essential habitat for many marine species. They are a key food source for dugongs and green turtles and provide a vital nursery habitat for juvenile fish and crustaceans.

For many years, block and tackle moorings were the most popular way to secure a boat or watercraft. However, these moorings – which often consist of makeshift anchors like concrete blocks or train wheels attached to a chain – are highly damaging to seagrass meadows and surrounding marine habitats. The mooring chain drags on the sea floor, ripping up seagrass and creating crop circles, which are dead zones with very little habitat value or sea life.

   

Project snapshot

Project name:  Environmentally friendly moorings
Project manager:  Rachael Nasplesez, Healthy Land & Water
Catchment: Moreton Bay
Timing: 2012 – Ongoing
Partnerships: 

The Environmentally Friendly Mooring (EFM) program has been governed, since 2012, by the EFM Program Steering Committee which comprises representatives of the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI), the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) Marine Parks, Department of Environment, Science and Innovation Conservation Policy and Planning, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC), Queensland Recreational Boating Council (QRBC), Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) and Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ).

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What's next

The Program is currently being reviewed in line with changes to mooring conditions that could impact the viability of program delivery.

 

Project collaborators

This project is run with funding support through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

The EFM Program has been governed, since 2012, by the EFM Program Steering Committee which comprises representatives of the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI), the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) Marine Parks, Department of Environment, Science and Innovation Conservation Policy and Planning, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC), Queensland Recreational Boating Council (QRBC), Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) and Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ).                   

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