[Australia] A program to reintroduce crayweed forests to waters off Sydney’s most famous beaches will now cover 16 locations, as part of a plan to rejuvenate the underwater ecosystems there.
The aim of the project is to restore the variety of seaweed that once populated a 70-kilometre stretch of Sydney’s coastline before being destroyed by water pollution in the 1970s and 80s.
Early results from test sites were so promising that the project has been extended to 16 locations — from Whale Beach in Sydney’s north to Little Bay in the city’s south-east.
Dr Ezequiel Marzinelli, a senior research fellow at the University of New South Wales, said Bondi beach was just one of a number of suitable sites picked for the program.
“Coogee is going to be another one. Clovelly … and then on the northern beaches, Manly,” he said.
Dr Marzinelli said these crayweed forests are basically “underwater trees”.
“When you lose these trees, it’s like losing a terrestrial forest,” Dr Marzinelli said.
“You lose all the creatures that live on this seaweed, many of which are commercially important like abalone and crayfish.”
Urbanisation to blame for ‘crayweed disappearance’
Dr Marzinelli said this particular variety of seaweed was still present in waters north of Palm Beach.
“South of Cronulla, you also get this species.
“It just disappeared from Sydney, which is the most urbanised area along the entire coast of New South Wales.”
Dr Marzinelli also pointed to the release of effluent into waters around the city as a reason behind the disappearance.
“The treatment of sewerage was not very good and it was delivered right onto our coastline,” he said.
“This species that was really abundant, disappeared from the city.”
View original article at: More ‘underwater forests’ to be restored off Sydney’s iconic beaches