26 September 2023

Harbour life-saving project ready to roll

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One of the largest harbour restoration projects of its kind in the world is set to commence in the Sydney Harbour, with the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) to reforest and restore marine habitats for penguins, seals, seahorses and turtles.

Announced by the Minister for Environment, James Griffin, the ‘Seabirds to Seascapes’ project is to help restore Sydney Harbour to bring back lost biodiversity, improve water quality and increase carbon storage.

“Sydney Harbour is a modern, working harbour at the beating heart of our city, but the effects of urbanisation and industrial activity have resulted in the loss of marine habitats and the species that call them home,” Mr Griffin said.

“While Sydney’s water quality has significantly improved in recent decades, so much so that we all delight at sightings of whales and seals in the Harbour, there’s no better time to supercharge our restoration efforts,” he said.

“By installing hundreds of Living Seawall panels and replanting seagrasses and kelp forests in at least nine locations, we’ll be restoring critical habitat for marine life like the endangered White’s seahorse, little penguins, green turtles and seals.”

Mr Griffin said the project consisted of three elements, the installation of Living Seawalls and replanting of seagrass meadows and kelp forests; the first State wide little penguin census; and a seal survey to identify fur seals’ preferred habitat, breeding grounds, diet and key threats.

He said ‘Seabirds to Seascapes’ was being led by DPE in partnership with experts from the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), Taronga Conservation Society Australia and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

More information about the Seabirds to Seascapes project can be accessed at this PS News link.

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