Second seagrass training and restoration event completed
Posted on July 26th, 2021
On 26 June, FBA and CQUniversity were joined by 26 volunteers to assist in for the second seagrass planting event at Curtis Island off the coast of Gladstone.
Like the previous event, CQU offered a morning training session by Associate Professor Emma Jackson about how to identify seagrass species in Gladstone, how seagrass seeds are germinated and to better understand seagrass research in the region. There was also an opportunity to create seagrass seed balls—which were essentially a ball of sticky mud covered in germinated seagrass seeds.
Participants then dispersed the seeds in two ways. Firstly, the seed balls were thrown forward using a stcik and ball approach to attempt to lob them into deeper water and mitigate the need to wade out too deep. This was to see if volunteers in the future could be land-based when distributing the seeds. Results from this were mixed as the seed balls often did not remain intact.
In the second trial, participants walked into thigh deep water and dropped seed balls to mimic how they were likely to be dispersed in the future, dropped off the side of a marine vessel. Not surprisingly, this had a much higher success rate in terms of not breaking the seed balls apart.
Despite being cold, wet and windy, the eager volunteers were not deterred and there was high enthusiasm and participation throughout the day. From start to finish, the 25 participants were keen to participate in all activities from completing a survey to flinging seagrass seed balls into the sparsely populated Pelican Banks seagrass meadow.
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