Bonnie Prior and Ian Smith inspect seagrass samples while Cat Shaw looks over to our feathered visitors
Seagrass monitoring is a global scientific monitoring and education program where seagrass meadows are assessed to provide an early warning of coastal ecological decline. The program started in Queensland in 1998 and now includes 355 sites across 19 countries.
Last month the monitoring team made their way to Pelican Bay site PB1 to collect valuable data in the 2017 round of seagrass monitoring. It was a fantastic day to be out enjoying nature’s wonders.
The tide was still in as we made our way out to the site however the centre peg was easily found using the GPS. The three parallel transects were marked out using our compass bearings as there were no other pegs visible.
While waiting for the water to recede we were visited by a pelican and his seagull friends which was delightful considering it was Pelican Bay!
Collection of data was a little more time consuming as there were two types of similar looking grass present onsite – Halodule uninervis and Zostera muelleri subsp. capricorni. It took rhizome and vein structure identification skills to make accurate percentages, however, once mastered it became easier.
If you are interested in becoming a seagrass monitoring volunteer you do not need any prior experience, just enthusiasm for outdoor adventure. Neat handwriting is an advantage! There will be opportunities for the next few months at sites within the Sandy Straits. For more information call Jess Milne on 0411 218 254.