Marine research and rehabilitation

We believe in the importance of seagrass to the marine ecosystem and CCL has invested in working with researchers to help develop ways to transplant and regenerate seagrass meadows. We have developed and implemented a comprehensive Seagrass Research and Rehabilitation Plan as part of our overall Environmental Management Programme.

Our Seagrass Research and Rehabilitation Plan

Cockburn Cement provided long-term funding for research and trials conducted as part of a Seagrass Research and Rehabilitation Plan (SRRP). This $2 million research program was established to develop a practical technical solution for the rehabilitation and re-establishment of seagrass and was undertaken over a ten-year period (2003 – 2012).

The study involved three universities, a botanic gardens and parks management authority, several leading environmental consultants and a marine engineering firm, with funding provided by CCL.

Scientists developed unique solutions during the research program including a mechanical seagrass transplanter, techniques for propagating seagrass seedlings in nursery conditions, and researched the best conditions for regrowing seagrass after transplantation.

The SRRP involved independently managed research which demonstrated that seagrass could be rehabilitated and allowed the scientists to test and refine their solutions.

The results and outcomes of the research is now widely regarded as international leading practice for seagrass rehabilitation and transplantation.

The Office of Environmental Protection Authority signed off the completion of the in SRRP in 2012. Download the SRRP Synthesis Report.

Real-world applications

Cockburn Cement has used the knowledge gained within the SRRP program to trial seagrass transplantation within previously dredged areas of Owen Anchorage. In 2013, sprigs of the seagrass Posidonia spp were transplanted at 14m depth within the decommissioned dredging area on Success Bank. The transplants have since been monitored in regularly and “infill” planting was completed in November 2016 to support continued growth and survival of the seagrass. The continued survival of transplanted Posidonia spp., along with the presence of naturally colonising seagrass, indicates that seagrass has been able to re-establish in these previously dredged areas.

Cockburn Cement is proud of its contribution to seagrass rehabilitation and research. We look forward to providing further updates on this work.

Our partnerships

Our team is committed to demonstrating good environmental management and we have invested in programs which support marine conservation and preservation.

We partner with organisations supporting marine wildlife conservation and habitat protection and have done so for many years.

Our partnership with the University of Western Australia included support for a series of three-year seagrass research projects, separate from the original SRRP. These research projects aimed to develop large scale collection, storage, culturing and a remote seafloor delivery process for the restoration of seagrasses with:

  • non-dormant, direct developing seed (Posidonia australis); and
  • dormant seed (Halopila ovalis)

Marine environmental management