Replacing damaging moorings in Moreton Bay to protect seagrass meadows
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 ensure mooring chains are kept off the sea floor, protecting seagrass and preventing 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.
About the project
- Block and tackle moorings are highly damaging to seagrass meadows.
- Seagrass meadows provide essential habitat for many marine species.
- More than 230 traditional block and tackle moorings have been replaced within Moreton Bay.
- The program has to date achieved over 6.6 ha of seagrass recovery and a total recovery area of 15.39 ha for improved management on the benthic zone.
Why this project is important
Seagrass meadows occur in shallow coastal waters across the world and form 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. 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.
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.
Keen for more info?
Are you an interested mooring owner?
If you would like more information or would like to be involved in the EFM initiative, contact Healthy Land and Water Team Leader Rachael Nasplezes on 0459 213 477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seagrass meadows are one of the most important marine habitats in the world for juvenile fish and crustaceans that are the basis of economically valuable commercial, recreational and indigenous fisheries.
Seagrasses are also critical habitat for iconic species such as sea turtles, dugongs and wader birds. In addition, seagrasses play a role in protecting shorelines by buffering wave and water movements and have been shown to store carbon per unit area similar to forests.
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. Seagrass meadows exist largely in shallow in-shore areas where recreational and commercial vessels often congregate and moor.
The growing population of Brisbane and the greater South East Queensland (SEQ) metropolitan region has contributed to Moreton Bay Marine Park’s status as the most visited park by domestic tourists in Queensland.
Boating and fishing are popular recreational activities. In June 2017 there were 145,437 recreational vessels registered in the Brisbane maritime region; one vessel for every 25 people or one vessel for every four recreational vessel licensees.
Projects have received funding from Gold Coast Waterways Authority and the current EFM program is being delivered in partnership with the Department of Environment and Science, Gold Coast Waterways Authority, the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, Queensland Recreation Boating Association, EFM installers and mooring boat holders.
This project is supported by Healthy Land and Water through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Over 230 traditional moorings have been replaced with environmentally-friendly alternatives
15 % of Moreton Bay’s seagrass has been damaged by mooring chains ripping up the seafloor