Coral Sea Marina Resort has partnered with several organisations, including the Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre at CQUniversity, Reef Catchments, and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, to launch an innovative Seagrass Restoration Project in Airlie Beach.
This project aims to revive and restore the local seagrass meadows in the Whitsundays, which are crucial in maintaining a balanced marine ecosystem.
By doing so, Coral Sea Marina demonstrates its commitment to environmental stewardship.
The Seagrass Restoration Project will help restore the marine ecosystem’s health, benefitting the local community and the environment.
Why Seagrass Matters
Contrary to common misconceptions, seagrasses are not simply underwater plants but the ocean’s only flowering plants.
Complete with roots, flowers, and seeds, seagrasses are an essential component of the marine ecosystem.
They serve as a protective barrier against coastal erosion and act as natural filters, removing harmful sediments and nutrients. This helps preserve the delicate balance of the reef systems.
These meadows are biodiversity hotspots, providing shelter and sustenance for various marine species, including fish and shellfish.
They also play a pivotal role in reducing carbon footprints by capturing and storing organic matter.
Most importantly, these meadows are vital feeding grounds for local wildlife, such as dugongs and green turtles.
The Challenges Ahead
Seagrass meadows are fragile and susceptible to environmental pressures.
Factors like storms and poor water quality can severely impact these habitats, often faster than they can recover naturally.
Therefore, they need a helping hand to bounce back and continue their essential roles in the marine environment.
The Project Overview
Coral Sea Marina plans to establish a nursery within its premises to address the challenges faced by seagrass meadows.
The objective is to grow seagrass plants using seeds collected from healthy meadows in Pioneer Bay.
The seeds will be nurtured in ideal growing conditions until they are ready to be replanted.
Volunteers are crucial to the success of this project.
Volunteers will assist in:
• Collecting seagrass seeds from healthy areas
• Helping in the seed-dispersal process
• Assisting with the ongoing maintenance of the seagrass nursery
We invite our guests and the community to participate in this worthwhile cause.
Opportunities for engagement include:
• Information sessions to educate about the value and importance of seagrass.
• Seagrass flower collection events offer a unique chance to witness the fascinating marine life that inhabits these meadows.
• Visits to the seagrass nursery to see the nurturing process first-hand.
• Training sessions on seagrass identification and the correct methods of flower collection.
• Seed harvesting activities.
Visit www.coralseamarina.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Seagrass-Restoration-Project-SUMMARY.pdf to find out how you can actively participate in the Coral Sea Marina Seagrass Restoration Project.
Join us in this exciting initiative as we work together for a healthier, more vibrant marine ecosystem.