Monday, July 30, 2012

Taming a killer in Townsville

Following remedial action by the Port of Townsville and a few years down the track a local salt marsh area that had been killed off by acid sulphate has now been stablised. 

The results are great. The port received the AUSMEPA Environmental Award 2010-2011 for its actions

Changes to the salt marsh began with a failed aquaculture attempt. 

Further damage to the site occurred through dirt bike recreation and the practice of indiscriminate rubbish dumping. It was a real mess and water quality in the adjacent creek was also compromised.

These days the once decimated salt pan abounds with animal tracks along with the natural return of the brilliant and salt marsh plants to this semi tidal zone. 

Migratory birds again grace the area and if you find it hard to see them skittering away in the distance you won't have any trouble at all finding a multitude of tracks decorating the dried mud.

Management of the land has been handed over to Parks and Wildlife Queensland and the area is currently closed to the public while it recovers. 

Do you know of a project that should be nominated for an Award? 

Please click here to find out more or contact AUSMEPA by email

Thursday, July 12, 2012

GIANT CUTTLEFISH: a phenomenon in danger

Cuttlefish Country is alerting the Australian public to their concerns around environmental changes in the upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia and the effects on the massive spawning aggregation known to occur there. It is disappearing.

You may also like to look at and comment on the South-east marine reserves draft management plan. The statutory consultation period has commenced and will be open for 45 days, closing on Monday 27th August, 2012. For more information click on the website here.

Friday, July 6, 2012

SEA ORBITER - an inner space project
Perhaps there are shades of Jules Verne's scientific thirst in this futuristic project. Moving from science fiction to science fact the remarkable SeaOrbiter is a mobile oceanic research station and preparations are on course for the project launch in 2013. The project's overview can be found here

The ocean drifting vessel, perhaps the first of many, sits vertically in the water column to a depth of 31 metres and extends above the water another 20 metres. It will house up to 18 people who will spend their time living and working beneath the surface of the ocean. Observations and scientific monitoring will occur 24hrs a day above and below the surface. 

Like a space station SeaOrbiter will have laboratories, workshops and living quarters. It will also have a pressurized deck with diving gear and submarines instead of spacesuits and spacecraft. The SeaOrbiter has both a multi-level atmospheric pressure module and a pressurized module that opens undersea.  

Click here to view and English language video of the project or paste the following link into your browser -

A fascinating project and definitely a 'watch this space' adventure.