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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. 

Thanks to the team at Sea Dog International TV and the ABC for developing this explainer video which shows a snapshot of how we have been assisting seagrass recovery.


Prof. Gary Kendrick, University of Western Australia

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): Posidonia australis meadows exposed at low tide, with the salt stockpile on the loading wharf at Useless Loop.

Photo: William Jones, October 2022.

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