Cockburn Cement is committed to a range of marine environmental protection measures with a comprehensive Seagrass Research and Rehabilitation Plan (SRRP) included in our Environmental Management Plan (EMP).
A $2 million research program to develop practical technical solutions for the rehabilitation and re-establishment of seagrass was undertaken over a ten year period (2003 – 2012). The SRRP covered many areas of research, planting and monitoring of seagrass. The study involved three universities, a botanic gardens and parks management authority, several leading environmental consultants and a marine engineering firm.
The seagrass rehabilitation and re-establishment solutions developed as part of the SRRP included a mechanical seagrass transplanter, tissue culture techniques for the micro-propagation of seagrass seedlings in nursery conditions and research into the best conditions for regrowing seagrass after transplantation.
The Office of Environmental Protection Authority signed off the completion of the in SRRP in 2012. Download the SRRP Synthesis Report.
Cockburn Cement is currently using 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 14metres depths within the decommissioned dredging area on East Success Bank. The transplants have since been monitored in November each year and three sites had transplanted seagrass survive for three winters. Further 'infill" planting is planned for November 2016 to support continued survivorship.
Cockburn Cement is funding a three year seagrass restoration research project conducted by the University of Western Australia (UWA). This research project aims at developing 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)
To date, this project has made significant progress associated with seed collecting, processing, culturing and delivery of seeds to the seafloor. This has included laboratory based analyses of seed settling and burial dynamics, large scale seedling depersal experiments within Cockburn Sound, and the application of a hydrodynamic model in the evaluation of seed dispersal and survival dynamics.