Seagrass Restoration at Useless Loop, Western Australia
This project is the next stage in seagrass restoration research and involves the scaling up of restoration methods to achieve hectare scale restoration plots. Researchers from The University of Western Australia and the management of Shark Bay Resources Pty. Ltd. are aiming to restore seagrass within areas of historical seagrass loss at Useless Loop. The damaged area has not recovered through natural expansion of peripheral meadows, so strategic restoration activities are being implemented. It is hoped by improving local conditions, recovery of large temperate seagrasses will naturally expand across a wider area over the next decade.
Successful transplanting of seagrass has been demonstrated through previous Australian Research Council Linkage support into seed-based restoration and recruitment studies. The two methods proposed for this research are traditional transplanting using rhizome and shoots from adult ribbon weed (Posidonia australis) and wire weed (Amphibolis antarctica) and assisting natural recruitment of wire weed seedlings through the use of ‘Seagrass Snaggers’.
We aim to:
1. Demonstrate seagrass restoration at 1 Ha scale,
2. Test methods of restoration and sources of seagrasses for restoration, and
3. Generate local participation and sense of caring for the local environment through working with Malgana Rangers, local community, and engagement with local schools.
Dr John Statton, University of Western Australia
Dr Elizabeth Sinclair, University of Western Australia
Ms Rachel Austin, University of Western Australia
Mr William Jones, Shark Bay Resources
Image (left): Aerial view of Useless Loop and surrounding seagrass meadows. Photo courtesy of Mitsui & Co (Australia) Ltd