Marine habitats

Marine habitats

Creating new marine life colonies

We are rolling out the welcome mat for sea creatures along our picturesque harbour foreshore with artificial rock pools creating new habitats for marine life.

Under the City-managed project, 60 new concrete flowerpots will be attached to seawalls in Sydney Harbour to attract vulnerable marine life back into our popular waterways.

It follows the success of a recent trial project where 28 new and unique marine species were recorded in Blackwattle Bay with underwater cameras purchased from an $11,000 City grant (see video above).

The species included star fish, crabs, sea snails, algae and fish varieties, such as yellowfin bream.

The project provided new insights supporting the fusion of engineering and ecological knowledge to sustain biodiversity in cities.

By adding habitat features and components of biodiversity largely absent from the extent of seawalls along the foreshore, we will enhance the resilience of a diverse harbour.

Sydney University marine ecologist Rebecca Morris (pictured) will continue her work from the original trial to monitor the new pots installed on seawalls along Glebe foreshore, Farm Cove and Elizabeth Bay, connecting one of few remaining natural coastal foreshores at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.

“I’ve been amazed at how quickly we are getting a variety of marine organisms colonising the flowerpots. By adding just one different type of habitat to the seawall on this small scale, we have seen a significant improvement to the marine biodiversity.

“It’s hoped that eco-engineering projects like the flowerpots will help rehabilitate biodiversity in areas where natural shores have been replaced because of foreshore development,” Ms Morris says.

The City has invested $20 million over the past 10 years to transform the once overgrown Glebe foreshore into a beautiful public space and native habitat. New seawalls, niches, rocky embankments, saltmarsh and mangroves are helping local marine life thrive.

The project is in partnership with the University of Sydney and the Royal Botanic Garden and Domains Trust and is supported by the Sydney Coastal Councils Group with a $104,000 grant from the federal government.

Becki Morris inspects flowerpots in Farm Cove.

Last updated: Monday, 11 April 2016