History of EFM
For many years, ‘block and chain’ moorings were the most popular way to secure a boat or watercraft. But ‘block and chain’ moorings – which often consist of makeshift anchors like concrete blocks or train wheels attached to a chain – are highly damaging to seagrass meadows. The mooring chain drags on the sea floor, ripping up seagrass and creating ‘crop circles’ that can be seen very clearly in aerial imagery.
The EFM initiative is crucial because seagrass meadows form one of the most important marine habitats in our oceans. They provide essential habitat for many marine species and are a key food source for dugongs and green turtles. The meadows 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 EFM 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 moorings have been replaced within Moreton Bay, and more are scheduled to be replaced in the near future.
The EFM initiative, which is delivered in close consultation with the state government, traditional owners, community group and the boating community, has been recognised with several awards including the Australian Business Award for Environmental Sustainability.