Australia’s biggest seagrass restoration to begin in SA

South Australia will soon start the country’s biggest ever seagrass restoration project along Adelaide’s metropolitan coast.

The $1 million project will re-establish seagrass meadows off Adelaide’s metropolitan coast between Glenelg and Semaphore.he project will help protect Adelaide’s sea bed against erosion and support a healthy marine environment.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said over the last 50 years around one third, or 6,000 hectares, of seagrass off the Adelaide metropolitan coast has been lost.

“While we have seen some natural regeneration of seagrass, more needs to be done to increase the seagrass habitat along Adelaide’s coast,” said Minister Speirs.

“Seagrass is an important buffer for the ocean’s wave and current energy to prevent erosion of our nearshore areas.

“It also supports fish populations, biodiversity and good water quality.”

The seagrass restoration project will use a technique developed in South Australia, which places hessian sacks on the sea floor near seagrass meadows, for young seagrass to attach to and grow.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said this project aims to re-establish around 10 hectares of seagrass off the Adelaide metropolitan coastline.

“The hessian sacks will be placed at up to 15 sites off the Adelaide metropolitan coast early this year,” said Minister Whetstone.

“The existing seagrass meadows will release young seagrass, which move through the water and attach to the hessian sacks.

“The sites will then be monitored, including whether the sites have a good source of young seagrass available to attach to the hessian sacks.

“The monitoring will help determine the sites for a larger scale restoration project in 2020.”

The project is being delivered by the Department for Environment and Water in partnership with the South Australian Research Development Institute as part of the $5.2 million New Life for our Coastal Environment commitment.

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