© Underwater Earth/XL Catlin Seaview Survey/Christophe Bailhache
The passionate ocean lovers and marine scientists around the Sydney Coast host a wide choice of citizen science, ocean restoration and other projects you can support . Explore some of the projects and activities you can join here and see how you can act to help protect our Sydney Coast Hope Spot.
Wild Sydney Harbour
Wild Sydney Harbour is a citizen science program aimed at promoting an understanding of marine life in Sydney Harbour. It’s designed to gather knowledge and sighting information on a variety of marine life above, around and below the water. This includes fur seals, dolphins, sharks, whales, seahorses, little penguins and many more. Sighting information is gathered via scientific research and through citizen science contributions.
Crayweed once formed dense beds on shallow reefs all along the Sydney coastline, but sometime during the 1980s it all disappeared! They may not be the most glamorous of sea creatures, but they’re among the most important, providing critical food and habitat that support hundreds of species. Operation Crayweed aims to bring crayweed and re-establish this essential habitat and food source for Sydney’s coastal marine biodiversity.
Healing old wounds and restoring underwater meadows! Seagrass meadows are one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth. They provide food and shelter to hundreds of species, including all-time favourite marine conservation icons like sea horses. In late 2021, Operation Posidonia was launched in Botany Bay (Kamay). This highly developed estuary serves as Sydney’s gateway to the rest of the world.
Until recently microplastic pollution presented scientists with a crisis that was invisible to the human eye. If no one could see the scale of the problem, how could they convince communities and government to engage with the biggest threat to ocean wildlife and the human food chain? By engaging communities in citizen science to monitor micro plastic and feel connected to the natural world this project is inspiring change for a sustainable future.
Tangaroa Blue is dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris. The Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) is an on-ground network of volunteers, communities and organisations that contribute data to the AMDI Database and work on solutions to stop the flow of litter at the source. The AMDI helps communities look after their coastal environment by providing resources and support programs.
Take 3 for the Sea
Humans need a healthy ocean for survival but plastic pollution is killing wildlife and suffocating the planet? Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or
anywhere and make a difference. Take 3 supporters remove 10 million pieces of rubbish annually with participation in 129 countries and have educated more than 500,000 people. Join the movement and help make plastic pollution a thing of the past.
Harbour Reef Life Survey
The survey is a first-of-its kind interactive digital tool for tracking the health of vital reef ecosystems all around the world. Reef Life Survey seeks to INSPIRE change in reef management and policy, build greater public knowledge through its outputs & provide resources for marine enthusiasts to learn more about the marine life they interact with.
Norman is the affectionate name given to a grey nurse shark regularly encountered by Bondi swimmers. But the shark nets threaten Norman and the 40+ other rare grey nurse sharks which regularly visit Bondi. In 2020 DPI recorded more than 90% of the catch as non-targeted bycatch, with about half classified as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. The Saving Norman campaign is educating the public about how shark nets kill marine life without protecting swimmers and promotes evidence-based solutions to swimmer safety. Join up to build broad community support for ending the shark meshing program.
Many Australians have had a painful bluebottle sting, yet little is known about bluebottles and what brings them to the coast. This project aims to shed new light on bluebottle dynamics, pathways, and distribution of bluebottle beachings with an innovative combination of lab work, ocean surveys, statistical and hydrodynamic modelling to fill knowledge gaps and ultimately develop the first bluebottle risk prediction tool for our popular beaches in partnership with Surf Life Saving Australia.
Sydney Seahorses are not the travelling type. They like to find a “happy place”, “fall in love” and give birth. So, when their habitat is lost, they’re lost too. SeaBnB is providing happy homes and restoring vital habitat for endangered seahorses in Sydney Harbour. By deploying Seahorse BnBs adjacent to existing seagrass beds in Sydney Harbour, and locating and tagging wild Sydney Seahorses this project can determine how seahorses utilise the natural habitat compared with the artificial habitats and how the addition of Seahorse BnBs can aid recruitment and breeding.
Australian Fishes Project
It's a collaboration between the public, industry partners and professional ichthyologists at a number of Australian and New Zealand museums and other fish-related institutions.
Give Flake A Break
Shark Champions is a collective of everyday Australians working towards better conservation outcomes for sharks in our oceans. The term 'Flake' is used as a catch-all label for multiple types of shark meat, inhibiting consumers from distinguishing sustainable meat from endangered species meat. 'Give Flake a Break' is a pledge to support conservation initiatives and protect our endangered sharks and rays.
Over the course of our Fair Catch campaign, we will take a closer look at different seafood and seafood labelling practices all around the country.
You’re needed on the Fishy-Leaks team to help find and expose potentially problematic imported seafood in supermarket freezers, on fish market counters and restaurant menus.