seagrass

Seagrass Collaboration

of South Australia

  • YEAR: 2019
  • STATE: South Australia
  • FOCUS AREAS: Healing our Land/SDG 14 : Life below water/SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals

Various organsiations across South Australia are monitoring seagrass meadows along the Adelaide coast. South Australia has a wealth of seagrass knowledge, but it is not centralised. Many stakeholders are individually researching and monitoring seagrass across the state, and all efforts could benefit from improved communication and data collection. The data is scattered and non-standardised and could be lost over time. This project facilitated communication and collaboration between stakeholders, increased discoverability of seagrass data to enhance its power for monitoring and management and to secure existing and future data against uncertain continuity of personnel and resources.

FNPW support

This project was funded through generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.

Project overview

Funding will be used to fund staff time to help coordinate the resources from various organisations involved in the South Australia Seagrass Collaborative. This includes cataloging the existing data and the establishment of a framework to collate the various datasets held across the state. The types of data that exist include: video transects, remote sensing data, dive-surveys, field notebooks and photographs.

The project outcomes are expected to be:

– Facilitation of communication and collaboration between stakeholders.

– Review of state-wide seagrass data, and identification of areas in which discoverability could be improved.

– Coordination, collation and sharing of seagrass data, to enhance its power for monitoring and management.

– Cataloging of existing data, allowing emerging technologies to exploit the extensive existing data records.

The expectation is for these outcomes to facilitate research and management of coastal areas across the state. There is potential this data could also contribute to the extent mapping of various seagrass genera, assist in monitoring the outcomes of restoration projects and feed into policy decisions.

LOCATION

This project is located in Adelaide, South Australia.

FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation the we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.

PROGRESS OF THIS PROJECT

The project was completed in 2022.

This project was funded by FNPW in 2018.

PROJECT PARTNERS

The University of Adelaide is the lead organisation for this project.

Further information about our project partner can be found on their website:

https://www.adelaide.edu.au/

Latest news on this project.

The University of Adelaide will establish a web based tool to coordinate the collation and sharing of seagrass data across South Australia to enhance its power for monitoring and management. In the process of developing the data standards and database infrastructure, they will consult with the various stakeholders and data custodians within government, academia and non-government organisations to review the extent of South Australian seagrass data.

The consultation headed by the University of Adelaide identified where data discoverability could be improved and establish infrastructure for cataloguing existing data allowing more effective use of this wealth of information. The outcome was the development of a Seagrass Wiki that allowed stakeholders to search the existing catalogue and to contribute any new data sources an knowledge of seagrass across South Australia.

Awareness is growing on the critical role seagrasses play for a healthy planet. To halt the global decline of our seagrass meadows and then to restore them, we need historic data on the condition and extents of the seagrasses. Reliable data underpins that knowledge.

Final Report

Through the Seagrass Project, the South Australian seagrass monitoring community rallied together to outline the types of data are stored. It was time to collate the critical data share it in a searchable database to enable new knowledge from existing data.

South Australia has a legacy of seagrass monitoring initiatives across our diverse community universities, government and conservation NGOs. But much of data can be fragmented, or inconsistent in their methods, geographies and uses, making it difficult for data and knowledge sharing for ongoing and developing members of the community.

Ultimately, the Seagrass Project in South Australia developed a wiki and data standards for future monitoring and research to search and contribute to. It is aimed at identifying where opportunities for research lies with existing data, and how to develop monitoring programmes that build on what is already there. The wealth of knowledge that exists can now be used to build on how we monitor and manage our critical seagrass meadows.

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