History of the EFM initiative
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 the associated 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. These crop circles can be seen very clearly in aerial imagery.
Marine Park Seagrass meadows provide essential habitat for many marine species and are a key food source for dugongs and green turtles and are also home to juvenile fish and crustaceans which are highly sought-after by commercial and recreational fishers.
Since 2009, Healthy Land and Water has been involved in several successful trials to assess the effectiveness of environmentally friendly moorings designs in locations throughout Moreton Bay. Starting in 2012, Healthy Land and Water collaborated with State and Federal governments to design and roll out a mooring replacement program in priority seagrass beds to greatly reduce their impact on the marine environment.
So far, more than 230 traditional block and tackle moorings have been replaced with environmentally friendly moorings within Moreton Bay, and more are scheduled to be replaced in the near future.
The EFM initiative has been recognised by several awards including the Australian Business Award for Environmental Sustainability.