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Moreton Bay
 
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The Moreton Bay region on the south east Queensland (SEQ) coast, stretches 125km from Caloundra to the Gold Coast. It is one of Queensland's most important natural, recreational, cultural and economic resources. The Bay features a diversity of foreshore and offshore seascapes and landscapes. Some areas have significant Aboriginal and European cultural heritage values. Although approximately 1·5 million people live in the Moreton region, the Bay fortunately remains mostly in its natural state — an internationally significant wetland providing habitats crucial for migratory shorebirds, turtles and dugong.

Direct impacts associated with use of the Bay and its foreshores plus the effects of disposal and runoff from adjacent areas have threatened the Bay's values. A key means of managing the Bay is the Moreton Bay Marine Park. Declared in 1993 (and extended in 1997), the marine park covers most of Moreton Bay's tidal lands and tidal waters seawards to the limit of Queensland waters. The marine park allows most people to do most things while still protecting the natural environment. A zoning plan over the marine park, provides a balance between human needs and the need to conserve the Bay's special values.

Bramble Bay Fisherman Is Moreton Island Wynnum Wellington Point Cleveland Nth Stradbroke Is Lota/Thornside Ormiston Victoria Point Peel Island Southern Bay Is pumicestone Passage Deception Bay

In SEQ, extensive seagrass meadows populate the Noosa River, Pumicestone Passage, Moreton Bay and the Gold Coast Broadwater. Seven species occur in the region, with Zostera capricorni and Halophila ovalis the most common.

In 1999, the Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP) was established in the Bay. It uses rigorous science to quantify and evaluate waterway health using a range of biological, physical and chemical indicators. Each year the EHMP produces an annual Ecosystem Health Report Card. Zostera capricorni depth range is monitored biannually at 18 sites, as part of the EHMP. Depth range provides an indication of water clarity at a site, as the depth to which seagrass can grow is directly dependent on the penetration of light through the water. This provides the EHMP with a link between changes in water quality throughout Moreton Bay and the effects it has on biological systems. For further reading, see EHMP (2004).

Many of the Seagrass-Watch sites have been established in conjunction with the depth monitoring. The Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP) has expressed interest in Moreton Bay Seagrass-Watch, especially in terms of its potential for the early detection of Lyngbya blooms. EHMP is currently providing some financial assistance to the program.

To date, 52 sites have been established at 11 different locations. Since November 2002, 220 individuals have applied to volunteer for Seagrass-Watch in Moreton Bay, providing enough people to establish 95 monitoring sites, if each site has two volunteers. This number far exceeds original expectations regarding the level of community interest and shows a keenness of the community to be involved in coastal management issues. Sampling frequency has been reduced to three times per year in March/April, July/August and November/December to minimise damage to the seagrass meadows, most of which grow in a muddy substrate.

Regional report card - Feb05

  • Healthy seagrass meadows throughout Moreton Bay support fisheries, turtle and dugong populations
  • Seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay are in a Fair condition, and results of monitoring indicate that seagrasses appear relatively healthy
  • Zostera capricorni in Southern and Northern Moreton Bay grow at shallower depths and are less stable than in Central and Eastern Moreton Bay. Areas where seagrass meadows have been lost correlate closely with degraded water quality, particularly from high turbidity.
  • Moreton Bay has a resident population of approximately 600 dugongs. Historically, herds of dugongs grazed on seagrass meadows throughout the entire bay, however, extensive loss of seagrass meadows on the western side of the bay, particularly over the past 10 years, has largely reduced suitable grazing areas for these animals. As a result, their distribution is primarily restricted to seagrass meadows in Eastern Moreton Bay. The Moreton Bay dugong population declined during 2001 with the highest number of strandings and deaths recorded in the last 10 years.
  • Recent results from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service indicate that the health of the Bay's sea turtles is deteriorating with the lowest fertility rates ever being recorded in 2003 year. The number of turtles with tumours has also increased.
  • Macroalgae abundance generally increases in the late winter (July/August) months across most sites.
  • Lyngbya outbreaks can have major impacts on the ecosystem health of an affected area. Lyngbya majuscula is a toxic filamentous cyanobacterium found in tropical and sub-tropical marine and estuarine environments worldwide. This cyanobacterium is commonly called "mermaids hair" or "fireweed". In bloom conditions Lyngbya forms dense mats that cover the sea floor, smothering underlying seagrass meadows. As seagrasses provide critical habitats and food for many different animals, the whole ecosystem may be impacted by its loss.
  • Additional monitoring sites are planned for Macleay Island and Amity Banks in the central Moreton Bay area.
  • Seagrass-Watch data is providing an understanding of seasonal trends and effects of climatic patterns on seagrass meadows

 

 

Bramble Bay

Principal watchers: Jennifer Singfield, Ross Coe and Mary-Ann Pattison.
Occasional and past watchers: David Sinlfeld, Kathryn Crouch, Liza Reyes, Paul Finn, S Stevens-Hoare, Mary-Ann Pattison, Sean Galvin & Sue Reid.
Location: Bramble Bay extends from the mouth of the Brisbane River north to Woody Point, Redcliffe Peninsula. BBMB1 is located close to Brisbane Airport, BBMB2 and BBMB3 are on the southern shores at Sandgate.
Site codes: BBMB1, BBMB2, BBMB3 (non compliant site code)
Issues: riverine discharge, a number of sewage treatment plants discharge almost directly into the bay (e.g. Redcliffe, Sandgate and Luggage Point), wind-driven re-suspension of fine fluvial sediments
Comments: Bramble Bay receives discharges from Hays Inlet, the Pine Rivers, Cabbage Tree Creek and the Brisbane River. Bramble Bay water have the longest residence time (~60 days) of any region in Moreton Bay, so flushing does not help to remove polluted discharge.

Excess nutrients have caused the proliferation of the macroalgae Ulva lactuca (sea lettuce) in several sections of the system. Ulva requires a rocky substrate and its growth is rapidly stimulated by elevated nutrients.

Historically, seagrass meadows dominated by Zostera capricorni covered the intertidal shoreline of Bramble Bay. No seagrass remains in Bramble Bay although seasonal occurrences of Halophila ovalis have been recorded. Water quality conditions are unsuitable for seagrass to re-establish. Due to it's proximity to Brisbane, Bramble Bay is an important area for recreational pursuits like boating and fishing.

Lyngbya majuscula has not been recorded in Bramble Bay, this may be due to poor light penetration and the lack of seagrass or other supporting substrates.

Status (Feb05):

  • No seagrass has been observed in Bramble Bay.
  • Bramble Bay is characterised by poor water quality and poor biological health, a consequence of elevated nutrients, low dissolved oxygen and high sewage nitrogen. Bramble Bay had the poorest ecosystem health of all Moreton Bay in 2003 (EHMP 2004).

 

 

 

 

 

Cleveland

Principal watchers: Don Baxter, Will Glynn, Gary Millar, Deidre Morrow, Graham Barr, Deborah Heavey.
Occasional watchers: Paul Finn.
Location: Located on the south eastern banks of Cleveland Point
Site codes: CL2
Issues: Urban stormwater, sewage and agricultural runoff, coastal development
Comments: Major urban and coastal development is occurring in this location. A major ferry terminal and associated facilities for the Moreton Bay islands is present approximately 1km south of the monitoring site.

Status (Feb05):

  • Seagrass abundance is relatively high (>50%) and variability appears generally low.
  • Seagrass dominated by Zostera capricorni with some Halophila ovalis
  • Although seagrass abundance appears to have declined from Oct03 to Apr04, this may be a consequence of seasonal change.
  • More Halophila ovalis present in the meadows in the early months of 2003. This could also be a seasonal occurrence, as Halophila ovalis is a colonising species and such species changes have been observed at similar locations.
  • Insufficient data to describe long-term trends.

 

 

 

 

 

Deception Bay

Principal watchers: Wayne Young,Jennifer Singfield, Barbara Miller, Karen Francis, Joe Patiniott, Sue Stevens-Hoare, Brian Vernon, Anita Cross, Karrel Cassey, Ross Rule, Hannah Rowan.

Occasional watchers: Paul Finn & Sean Galvin.
Location: DB1 located on the southern banks of Deception Bay, east of a large canal development.
Site codes: DBMB1, DB2MB, DBMB3 (non compliant site code)
Issues: Urban stormwater, sewage and agricultural runoff, coastal development
Comments: Deception Bay is situated at the northern section of Moreton Bay and receives input from the Caboolture River and Pumicestone Passage. Flushing from the North Passage and relatively low inputs of nutrients and sediments from the Caboolture River maintain good water quality in the northern part of the Bay. Extensive (~1300ha ) seagrass meadows (mostly Zostera capricorni, with Halophila ovalis, Syringodium isoetifolium) are present in the northern part of the bay, but have been covered with a toxic cyanobacterium, Lyngbya majuscula, on an annual basis since 1990. It is suggested that terrigenous runoff containing iron and humic substances is stimulating the annual blooms. Two sites (DB2 and DB3) are planned for the northern banks of Deception Bay adjacent to Sandstone Point.

Extensive (~2100ha) seagrass meadows were present in the southern part of Deception Bay in December 1987 (Hyland et al. 1989). These included meadows of Zostera capricorni with some Halophila ovalis inshore, and meadows generally <10% cover of Halophila ovalis, Halophila spinulosa, Halophila decipiens subtidally.

Approximately 15km2 of seagrass meadows were lost in the southern Bay in 1996 following a 1-in-20 year flood event and there has been no subsequent recovery. Lack of seagrass recovery is likely due to discharge of poor quality water from the Caboolture River which remains a pressure on Deception Bay's overall ecosystem health. Poor flushing in that area of Deception Bay compounds the impact of this discharge. Recovery in the area is most likely being limited by the poor water clarity. Water quality is however improving, as Deception Bay is characterised by fair to good water quality and good biological health (EHMP 2004).

During 2002-2003, Lyngbya blooms covered up to 30% of seagrass meadows in northern Deception Bay. Lyngbya was found predominantly on the meadows at Godwin's Beach extending to the mouth of Pumicestone Passage. A similar result was recorded in 2001-2002.

Less flow from the Caboolture River in a dry 2002-2003 has meant that reduced nutrient and sediment loads entered Deception Bay. This has resulted in improvements to water quality. Limited growth of Lyngbya majuscula and a low sewage nitrogen signal has also contributed to improved ecosystem health.

Status (Feb05):

  • Insufficient data to determine current status or to describe long-term trends.
  • Site has only been examined once, on 2 April 2004, but <1% seagrass cover was reported.

 

 

 

 

 

Fisherman Islands

Principal watchers: Don Baxter, Will Glynn, Gary Millar Deidre Morrow, Graham Barr, Deborah Heavey.
Occasional watchers: Lou Coles,Michael Murphy, Paul Finn, Gavin Leese & Rebecca McMillan.
Location: South of the Brisbane River mouth, near the southern end of the sea wall, north of south point, at the most northern section of Waterloo Bay.
Site codes: FI1, FI2, FI3
Issues: worm digging, urban stormwater, sewage and agricultural runoff, coastal & port development
Comments: Waterloo Bay on the western side of Moreton Bay, extends from the mouth of the Brisbane River south to Wellington Point. Numerous small creeks make up the Redland Catchment which drains directly into Waterloo Bay. These creeks include Tingalpa, Coolnwynpin, Tarradarrapin, Hilliards, Eprapah, Moogurrapum and Weinum Creeks. There are a range of land uses within the catchment such as poultry farming, plant nurseries, flower farms, market gardens, urban areas and bushland. Tingalpa Reservoir impounds Tingalpa Creek. There are five sewage treatment plants discharging in the Redlands/Waterloo Bay catchment.

Waterloo Bay is characterised by good and stable water quality with good biological health (EHMP 2004). Although the region is affected by the Brisbane River through Boat Passage, water currents generally force nutrients and sediments from the river mouth northward away from Waterloo Bay. It is the only western embayment of Moreton Bay that still supports coral, macroalgal and seagrass communities. Generally stress tolerant species capable of withstanding sediment loading dominate. Healthy meadows of the seagrass Zostera capricorni are present in Waterloo Bay and depth ranges of most meadows have not changed since 1993, indicating that these meadows are generally stable.

Seagrass depth range monitored at Fisherman Islands at the end of Boat Passage as part of the EHMP, is the shallowest, corresponding to the poorest water clarity in the region.

Status (Feb 05):

  • Site has only been examined on 2 occasions, with no significant difference in abundance between events.
  • Zostera capricorni is the only species present.
  • Seagrass cover >50% and low variability.
  • Insufficient data to describe long-term trends.

 

 

 

 

 

Lota / Thornside

Principal watchers: Josef Major, Rose Penfold, Lisa West, Lou Coles, Tina Antill, Rebecca Goddard, Julie Meles.
Occasional watchers: Belinda Daly, M Beec, Tim.
Location: On the western banks of Waterloo Bay, south of Manly
Site codes: LT2 LT3
Issues: Urban stormwater, sewage and agricultural runoff, coastal development
Comments: Monitoring sites are immediately adjacent to the discharge from Redland Catchment. There are a range of land uses within the catchment such as poultry farming, plant nurseries, flower farms, market gardens, urban areas and bushland. Tingalpa Reservoir impounds Tingalpa Creek. There are five sewage treatment plants discharging in the Redlands/Waterloo Bay catchment.

Waterloo Bay is characterised by good and stable water quality with good biological health (EHMP 2004). Although the region is affected by the Brisbane River through Boat Passage, water currents generally force nutrients and sediments from the river mouth northward away from Waterloo Bay. It is the only western embayment of Moreton Bay that still supports coral, macroalgal and seagrass communities. Generally stress tolerant species capable of withstanding sediment loading dominate. Healthy meadows of the seagrass Zostera capricorni are present in Waterloo Bay and depth ranges of most meadows have not changed since 1993, indicating that these meadows are generally stable.

Status (Feb05):

  • Seagrass meadows are dominated by Zostera capricorni with some Halophila ovalis.
  • Slightly more Halophila ovalis in the earlier months of the year.
  • Insufficient data to comment on seasonal trends, but generally appears to be higher abundances in the summer months
  • Very minor amounts (<1% cover) of Lyngbya was reported at LT3 on 7 Dec 2003

 

 

 

 

 

Moreton Island

Principal watchers: Ed Boast, Jill Ferguson, Trish Cavanaugh, Janet Dovers, Nanette Kempel, Jenni van Rooyen, Linda Back, Phillip Back, Petra Janoschka.

Occasional watchers: Dennis, Val Young.
Location: Located at the south western end of Moreton Island. MIMB1 is on Coonungai Bank, adjacent to Crab Island, and MIMB2 is 4km north on the banks of Moreton Island.
Site codes: MIMB1 and MIMB2 (non compliant site code)
Issues:
Comments: The Eastern Banks region of Moreton Bay covers approximately 100km2 and includes Moreton, Boolong, Chain, Maroom and Amity Banks. This area is considered pristine with excellent water quality, extensive and diverse seagrass meadows growing in deep waters and diverse faunal assemblages. There is significant oceanic flushing through the Rous Channel. There have, however, been recent outbreaks of the toxic cyanobacteria Lyngbya majuscula occurring annually since 2000. During the summer months, up to 28% of the seagrass was covered in Lyngbya, which are primary grazing meadows for turtles and dugongs.

Zostera capricorni meadows at Crab Island are reported to extend to 3m depth, the deepest in Moreton Bay, a consequence of excellent water clarity. Although not currently monitored by EHMP, deep-growing species (e.g. Halophila spinulosa) have been recorded at depths of 10m offshore of Moreton Island, highlighting the importance of maintaining good water clarity in the region.

Status (Feb05):

  • The Eastern Banks region of Moreton Island is characterised by near pristine water quality and excellent biological health (EHMP 2004). The water quality in the Eastern Banks is generally low in nutrient levels and sediment load.
  • Monitoring site MI2, has been visited on 3 occasions, and seagrass cover has increased significantly.
  • Species composition has remained relatively stable.
  • Significant cover (mean = 29.76 ±3.07%) of Lyngbya was reported at MI2 on 30-Nov-03

 

 

 

 

 

North Stradbroke Island

Principal watchers: Kathy Townsend, Dan O’Sullivan, Rachael Hanna, Allister Gee, Paula Williams, Jo Barkworth, Coralie Dodd, Donna Smit Jeanette Watson, Murray Watson.
Occasional watchers: Chris Matthews, John Osborne, Margaret Grenfell, Paul Finn, Andy Morison, Annette Gaupp, Barry Brown, Carmen & Pip, Dunwich State School Year 7, Evelyn Chen, Hannabella, Jan Connolly, Lauren, Lou Coles, Kathryn Crouch, Sarah & Stephanie Esentrager.
Location: All sites located on the north western banks of North Stradbroke Island. NS1 is in One Mile Harbour. NS2 is 2.8km north at Myora, NS3 is the most northern site on western Amity Point. Both NS2 and NS3 are on the eastern banks of Rainbow Channel. Ns4 is the most southern site, located at Adams Beach
Site codes: NS1 NS2 NS4
Issues: minor storm water and sewage inputs
Comments: The Eastern Bay region which includes North Stradbroke Island, has excellent water quality with low nutrient levels, low sediment loads, and diverse coral assemblages. Tidal flushing through the South Passage removes any minor storm water and sewage inputs. Phytoplankton communities are diverse and have adapted to live in low nutrient environments. There are extensive seagrass beds that provide food and habitat to fish and crustaceans as well as turtles and dugong.

A large meadow (~6.5km2) dominated by Zostera capricorni with a mixture of other species (Halophila ovalis, Halophila spinulosa, Syringodinm isoetifolium, Cymodocea serrulata, Halodule univervis) is located along the eastern banks of Rainbow Channel.

Expanding populations of the nuisance algae Caulerpa taxifolia have been recorded at One Mile Harbour and Adams Beach off North Stradbroke Island. Caulerpa taxifolia occupies the same niche as seagrasses, and because of expanding populations, hey are frequently found competing with seagrasses for substrate and light availability.

Status (Feb05):

  • Seagrass meadows being monitored appear to be in a relatively fair state.
  • Seagrass abundance at NS1 has change little between monitoring events, however the site has only been visited in the early months of both 2003 and 2004. In 2004, the species composition included a greater percentage of the colonising species (Halophila ovalis and Halodule uninervis) and the variability in cover was slightly greater. This may indicated the site is being negatively impacted; however there is insufficient data to determine trends or determine if this is a natural phenomenon.
  • Macroalgae abundances are relatively high, with greatest abundances in the late spring period. Sites NS2 and NS4 generally have more macroalgae present than the other sites.

 

 

 

 

Ormiston

Principal watchers: Jacquie Sheils, Matt Scougal, Scott Watson, Alicia Axam, Aimee Van Polanen Petel, Chloe Rhoades, Hamish Axam, Nicola Rae, Chris Fraser.
Occasional watchers: Ben Cook, Boglary, Decalie Newton, Carol Conacher, John Thorougood, Keira Price, Kylie Asher, Nicola Udy, Paul Finn, Peter London, Sharon, Simon Baltais & Wendy Boglary.
Location: Northern banks of Raby Bay, OR1 is adjacent to a canal development, OR2 is the most northern site, adjacent to Wellington Point.
Site codes: OR1 OR2 OR3
Issues: Urban stormwater, sewage and agricultural runoff, coastal development
Comments: Sites are particularly muddy. Rapid urbanisation of the catchment has occurred over recent years including the construction of canal developments.

Status

  • Seagrass abundance is relatively low (<50%) and variability within sites is high.
  • Meadows dominated by Zostera capricorni with Halophila ovalis
  • Abundance appears to have increased slightly over the 2003/2004 summer months, a consequence of warmer temperatures and possibly clearer water.
  • Insufficient data to describe long-term trends.

 

 

 

 

 

Peel Island

Principal watchers: Sam Ledger, Stu Ledger, Chris Ayres, Rhonda Ayres, James Wright, Janet Dovers.
Occasional watchers: Don Burton, Lou Coles, Michael Salini, Richie Pigeon, Shon Schooler, Damien Guppitt, John Berry, Lucas Batton, Nicola Udy, Alice Yeates, Bethan Haughton, Paul Finn, Donovan Burton & S Raghu & Rebecca Fowler.
Location: In central Moreton Bay, located midway between Cleveland and North Stradbroke Island. Sites located in the small bay on the southern side of the island, adjacent to Platypus.
Site codes: PIMB1 PIMB2 PIMB3 (non compliant site code)
Issues: minor storm water and sewage inputs, boat traffic & anchoring
Comments: Sites are subtidal - monitored by free diving. Peel Island area has relatively good water quality with low nutrient levels and low sediment loads (EHMP 2004). Diverse coral assemblages are located around the island. Tidal flushing through the South Passage removes any minor storm water and sewage inputs. There are extensive seagrass meadows that provide food and habitat to fish and crustaceans as well as turtles and dugong.

Seagrass meadows occur around the island and appear relatively healthy due to good water clarity. The shallow subtidal Zostera capricorni dominated meadow (~44ha) at Peel Island, in which the moniotirng sites are located, has been very stable for the past 5 years and extends to 2m in depth. The last major bloom of Lyngbya majuscula was reported in early 2002, before Seagrass-Watch monitoring was initiated.

Status (Feb05):

  • Sites have not been revisited since April 2004.
  • Sites appear to be in Fair condition.
  • Sites PIMB1 and PIMB2 dominated by Zostera capricorni with Halophila ovalis and Syringodium isoetifolium. Halophila spinulosa is present in minor amounts.
  • Site PI3 is dominated by Syringodium isoetifolium and Halophila spinulosa, with small amounts of Zostera capricorni and Halophila ovalis.
  • Percentage composition of Zostera capricorni at PIMB1 dropped dramatically (from 75% to 21%) in April 2004. Similarly, Zostera capricorni abundance declined at PIMB2.
  • Abundances generally variable within sites and between monitoring events.
  • Lyngbya was reported at PIMB1 on 01-Nov-02 (mean cover was 2.05 ±1.18%).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumicestone Passage

Principal watchers: Joyce Newell, Bob Newell, John McConnell, Jackie McConnell, Maureen Hickling, Warwick Bright, Shaylee Bright, Michael Salini, Jenny Reynolds, Allen Reynolds, Kim Reynolds, Denis Evans, Bob (Edward Robert) Davis, Mick (Malcolm) Graham, Jennifer Graham, Michael Kelly.
Occasional watchers: Brett Williams, Chris Penning, Kathryn Crouch, Denis Evans, Lou coles, Nathan Kirby & Tarni Williams.
Location: Pumicestone Passage is a narrow shallow estuary extending between the coastal plain in the west and Bribie Island in the east.
Site codes: PP1 PP2, PP3, PP4, PP5
Issues: Major land uses in the catchment include pine plantations, forestry and intensive agriculture, sewage discharge, coastal urban development.
Comments: Pumicestone Passage receives inflows from numerous small creeks on the mainland and Bribie Island. Tidal flushing of the southern passage from Deception Bay dominates the estuary and there is a net northern movement of water through the Passage.

The main population centre is Caloundra in the north, with the smaller townships of Beerburrum, Beerwah and Landsborough located in the hinterland. Population growth in the catchment is high and there is an increasing demand for urban and rural residential development. Extensive areas of native vegetation in the catchment have been cleared for agriculture and pine plantations, however, remaining remnants of Melaleuca, heathland, saltmarsh, seagrass and mangroves survive within the estuary providing valuable habitat to a range of organisms.

A survey of seagrass was conducted in Pumicestone Passage in autumn 2002 (EHMP 2004). Zostera capricorni was the most dominant species, followed by Halophila ovalis. H. spinulosa which tends to grow in deeper water was only found in the southern region of the Passage as was a small meadow of Cymodocea serrulata. Seagrass covers approximately 1200ha of Pumicestone Passage with extensive meadows characterising Tripcony Bight and the south-western intertidal areas of the Passage. Poorer water clarity and narrow channels north of Tripcony Bight restrict seagrass growth to a predominantly sparse cover of H. ovalis.

Status (Feb05):

  • The site most frequently monitored is PP1. Seagrass abundance at this site appears to be showing a fairly typical season pattern of seagrass abundance (higher in late spring-summer than winter).
  • Seagrass abundance at PP2 damatically declined in late 2003, however it is unknown if this loss is an acute event and whether the site has recovered, as the site has not been revisited.
  • Monitoring at other sites shows no significant changes in abundance or species composition
  • Macroalgae is generally more abundant at PP1 than at the other sites. Macroalgae abundance is chronically low (0-33% cover), with acute blooms over the summer months.
  • The passage is characterised by fair to good water quality and good biological health (EHMP 2004)

 

 

 

 

Southern Bay Islands

Principal watchers: John Cameron, Joanne Gates, Ken Orme, John Lind, Susan Lind, Max Baker, David Cummings, Don Marshall, Nadia O’Carroll, Kerry O’Carroll.

Occasional watchers: Glenda Crowther & Glenn.
Location: Tipplers Passage, northern end of South Stradbroke Island between Logan and Pimpama Rivers
Site codes: SBMB1, SBMB2
Issues: none identified
Comments: Sites are located in or adjacent to Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park .

There are a range of habitats within the region including mangrove islands and Jumpinpin Passage (between North and South Stradbroke Islands). The Logan River has the greatest influence on the water quality in Southern Moreton Bay, however much of the discharge appears to travel to the north and has relatively little effect on the monitoring sites. There are extensive mangrove areas present in this region of the Bay and tidal flushing through the Passage removes most inputs.

The region contains expansive and diverse mangrove forests that are for the most part in good health. The eastern channels, especially Canaipa Passage, which are less influenced by Logan River, have healthy seagrass meadows and greater biological diversity than the rest of the system corresponding to better flushing and excellent water quality.

Status (Feb05):

  • Seagrass meadows dominated by Zostera capricorni and Halophila ovalis, which are patchy in places.
  • Only visited in May 2003.
  • Seagrass cover <50% and relatively high variability.
  • Insufficient data to determine current status or to describe long-term trends.

 

 

 

Victoria Point

Principal watchers: Belinda Daley, Jill Praeger, Tim Roe, Ken Callan Stephen Cox, Amanda White, Keira Price

Occasional watchers: Katie Ewington, Katie Martin, Lyndon Harris, Paul Finn, Ray Rowe, Stephen Cox, Allison Brunott, Andrew Petro, Ben Longstaff, Bronwyn Smith, Gary Miller, Harold Waring, Ivell Whyte, Lynn Roberts, Narelle, Narelle Renn, Rebecca Lewis, Saren Starbridge, Sharen, Tone Iveson,Debbi McManus, Nicola Udy, Conor McManus, Michael Salini, Simon Baltais, Danielle Ewington, Keira Price, Beryl House & Ulrike Keysner.
Location: In northern Redland Bay, on the southern side of Victoria Point
Site codes: VP1 VP2 VP3
Issues: Urban stormwater, sewage and agricultural runoff, coastal development
Comments: Located in Southern Moreton Bay, which extends from the Logan River mouth north to Peel Island. There are a range of habitats within the region including mangrove islands and the urbanised areas of Russell and Macleay Island and Redland Bay. The Logan River has the greatest influence on the water quality in the region. It contributes sediment and nutrients from numerous point and non-point sources.

Due to numerous shallow, muddy channels and its proximity to the Logan River mouth, the area has typically poor water clarity, fair water quality and poor to fair biological health (EHMP 2004). The sewage nitrogen signal from poor riverine discharge is also a concern for the region.

The system supports seagrass meadows and large stands of mangrove forest, but both are under threat from poor water quality. The seagrass meadows in the region are shallow and variable, corresponding to the fluctuating water clarity in the system. During the last decade seagrass meadows have decreased in size due to declining water clarity, although seasonal occurrences of colonising species such as Halophila ovalis and Halophila spinulosa have been noted near the Logan River mouth.

Status (Feb05):

  • Seagrass abundance at all sites show similar patterns.
  • Zostera capricorni grows to approximately 2m around Victoria Point.
  • Seagrass meadows around Victoria Point appear to be in a fair condition
  • Abundances are variable, corresponding to variable water clarity in the region.
  • Macroalgae are persistent at Victoria Point. Abundances increased significantly in late 2003 to medium-high (34-100% cover). In 2004, however, abundances decreased to what appears to be their typical levels for this location (0-33% cover).
  • Epiphyte abundances are generally low, and no significant patterns in epiphyte abundance were apparent.

 

 

 

 

Wellington Point

Principal watchers: Seagrass-Watch HQ
Occasional watchers: Don Gilmour, Helen Gilmour, Desley Loch, John Henderson, Barry Johns, David Joseph, Cathy Dexter, Julie Zubevich, Nicola Udy, Jacquetta Udy, Danielle Udy, Justine Grant, Amanda Luxford, Kath Dexter, Kathryn Crouch, Lou Coles, Melodee Brenchev, Rebecca Fowler, Paul Finn & Ruth Dexter
Location: On the eastern banks of Waterloo Bay, on the western side of Wellinton Point. WP2 is close to King Island.
Site codes: WP1 WP2 WP3 WP4
Issues: Urban stormwater, sewage and agricultural runoff, coastal development
Comments: Monitoring sites are on the opposite side of Waterloo Bay to the discharge from Redland Catchment. There are a range of land uses within the catchment such as poultry farming, plant nurseries, flower farms, market gardens, urban areas and bushland. Tingalpa Reservoir impounds Tingalpa Creek. There are five sewage treatment plants discharging in the Redlands/Waterloo Bay catchment.

Waterloo Bay is characterised by good and stable water quality with good biological health (EHMP 2004). Although the region is affected by the Brisbane River through Boat Passage, water currents generally force nutrients and sediments from the river mouth northward away from Waterloo Bay. It is the only western embayment of Moreton Bay that still supports coral, macroalgal and seagrass communities. Generally stress tolerant species capable of withstanding sediment loading dominate. Healthy meadows of the seagrass Zostera capricorni are present in Waterloo Bay and depth ranges of most meadows have not changed since 1993, indicating that these meadows are generally stable.

Status (Feb05):

  • Seagrass meadows are dominated by Zostera capricorni with some Halophila ovalis.
  • Seagrass abundance is variable within and between sites, indicating localised impacts.
  • Sites appear to be in Fair condition.
  • Macroalgal abundances have increased significantly at WP1 over the monitoring period. Abundances at other sites increased over the summer months, but subsequently returned to low levels in the early 2004.
  • Only 12 months of monitoring data.
  • Insufficient data to comment on seasonal trends, but generally appears to be higher abundances in the summer months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wynnum

Principal watchers: Seagrass-Watch HQ

Occasional watchers: Dinah Hall, Jenny Job, Dianne MacLean, Steve Macpherson, Matthew Taylor, Beth Clouston, David Wilson, Denise Wilson, Noel Wison, Debbi McManus, Connor McManus, Steve MacPherson, Vicki Cox, Brendan Vollemaere, Christie Currie, David & Maureen Champion, Dianne Maclean, Don Baxter, Hall , Job, Katie Martin, Kerry McGregor, Lyndon Harris, Maureen Champion, N Clouston, Noel Wilson, Sheryl Keates, Stephen Pesch,Nicola Udy, Ian Curtis Simon Baltais, Ray Rowe & Tony Iveson.
Location: Close to Oyster Point, adjacent to the seawall. WN3 is at Darling Point, WN4 is south of Darling Point.
Site codes: WN1 WN2 WN3 WN4
Issues: Baitworm digging, urban stormwater, sewage and agricultural runoff, coastal development
Comments: Waterloo Bay on the western side of Moreton Bay, extends from the mouth of the Brisbane River south to Wellington Point. Numerous small creeks make up the Redland Catchment which drains directly into Waterloo Bay, These creeks include Tingalpa, Coolnwynpin, Tarradarrapin, Hilliards, Eprapah, Moogurrapum and Weinum Creeks. There are a range of land uses within the catchment such. as poultry farming, plant nurseries, flower farms, market gardens, urban areas and bushland. Tingalpa Reservoir impounds Tingalpa Creek. There are five sewage treatment plants discharging in the Redlands/Waterloo Bay catchment.

Waterloo Bay is characterised by good and stable water quality with good biological health (EHMP 2004). Although the region is affected by the Brisbane River through Boat Passage, water currents generally force nutrients and sediments from the river mouth northward away from Waterloo Bay. It is the only western embayment of Moreton Bay that still supports coral, macroalgal and seagrass communities. Generally stress tolerant species capable of withstanding sediment loading dominate. Healthy meadows of the seagrass Zostera capricorni are present in Waterloo Bay and depth ranges of most meadows have not changed since 1993, indicating that these meadows are generally stable.

Status (Feb05):

  • Seagrass abundance appears to follow typical season pattern (higher in late spring-summer than winter).
  • Sites are dominated by Zostera capricorni with Halophila ovalis. Species composition appears relatively stable. A few plants of Halophila spinulosa were reported in late 2003 at the Darling Point site.
  • Macroalgae abundances have decreased at WN2 and WN3 over the monitoring period, however they have significantly increased at WN1.
  • Site WN3 at Darling Point appears to be in the best condition, as seagrass abundances have continued to increase against a background seasonal trend. This site is less impacted and has higher tidal flushing.
  • Site WN1 is possibly the highest impacted site. Seagrass abundance at this site are generally lower and more variable, macroalgae are medium to high and epiphytes appears to persist.

 

 

 

 

 
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