Field work season is officially underway for the Project Restore team. The team have been out at proposed sites conducting site scoping and baseline surveys. This includes an array of different of methods to survey the biodiversity of the site and the health of the habitat forming species that we aim to restore, such as seagrass, Posidonia australis, and the critters that you could see at Sydney’s rocky shores. Out of these methods, a highlight are Remote Underwater Videos (RUV’s) and fish and benthic surveys, using the Reef Life Survey (RLS) methods.
The site scoping allows the sites to be categorised into restoration (areas where restoration will occur), control (degraded areas in a similar state of degradation as the restoration areas) and reference sites (areas where the targeted habitats are in good health). Having these three types of sites will allow us to compare the trajectory of our restoration sites and adaptatively manage these towards our goals.
Currently, there are up to 11 proposed restoration sites within Sydney Harbour. There will be sites where a multi habitat restoration approach will be implemented and others where restoration of each of the four targeted habitats will occur in isolation. As per our current funding, two multi habitat restoration sites and two restoration sites for each of the targeted habitats will be selected. The final decision on where the restoration will occur will depend on site feasibility and licensing.
Project Restore Current Proposed Restoration Sites:
Procurement is another key aspect to the project at this stage, the team are working through procurement for living seawalls panels, fish pods units, Posidonia collection and the replacement of environmentally friendly moorings (EFM’s) in collaboration with TfNSW. The installation of EFM’s are key to the success of Posidonia restoration. Before seagrass restoration can commence selected moorings at the restoration sites will be changed from traditional swing moorings to EFM’s. For more information on this or to change over your own mooring to an EFM please reach out to email@example.com.
The road ahead – once the sites are confirmed and licensing and procurement is confirmed the team will move on to restoration which is due to start early 2024.