Our Balmain Foreshore Project continues with a pre-installation biodiversity survey of our school's seawall today. Dr Rosie Steinberg spent time teaching our staff and students how to undertake the biodiversity survey so that it can be repeated over time to assess the effectiveness of the Living Seawall panels in encouraging biodiversity.
A seawall has been selected along the school's property for installation. Students accessed the site by ladder and in most places the water was ankle or knee deep. In a few spaces it was a little deeper, but no more than mid-thigh. We had multiple teachers on supervision to ensure safety.
The survey involved a quadrat method. The quadrats were fairly simple in design - something similar to poly pipe used for irrigation with fishing line to create intersections. They measure 25 cm square.
The focus of the activity was an extended length of around 15 metres along the wall. 4 areas were identified for installation of the seawall panels, with control areas in between where panels would not be installed. The length of seawall is accessible at low tide, and sites were chosen for the panels along the oyster band and below (mid to low intertidal zones). Students worked in teams of 3-4 to undertake the survey.
Students held a quadrat square along the wall, and then recorded the organisms found. This activity was repeated a number of times in areas that will have sea wall panels installed, as well as areas that will not (control sites). Students referred to the Living Seawalls Field Guide to identify Species groups - Molluscs, crustaceans - Mobile, Crustaceans - Barnacles, Ascidiacea (sea Squirts), Bryozoa, Porifea - Sponge, Polycheaete - Tubeworm, Algae - Erect Branching, Algae - Globose, Algae - Laminate, Algae - Articulated Calcareous, Algae - Filamentous, Algae - Encrusting, and Algae - Sheetlike.
This is the first survey planned for this site. It is expected that this activity will be completed several times a year once the Living Seawall panels are installed.
I need to give a big shout out to Aria Lee the Living Seawalls Project Manager at the Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences (SIMs) who has been invaluable in helping us bring this part of our project together.
This is one of several posts about our Balmain Foreshore Project. Read more...
Balmain Foreshore Project - Introduction
Gardening Below the Surface - Operation Posidonia
Balmain Foreshore Project - Trial Activities
Balmain Foreshore Project - Implementation
Balmain Foreshore Project - Living Seawalls
Balmain Foreshore Project - Living Seawalls: Pre-Installation Biodiversity Survey
Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the Geoactive text book series.