Date: October 25, 2019
Participants: HSBC, QBE, BCD travel
Site: Towra Point, Sydney
Research: Variability of Blue Carbon stocks across coastal vegetated systems
Mangroves, saltmarsh, swamp oaks …… the #BlueCarbonArmy sampled it all!
Our hot and sunny Citizen Science day began at the HSBC’s Barangaroo office where HSBC, Earthwatch, and the Blue Carbon Lab gave presentations on corporate sustainability, natural capital and coastal wetlands.
Participants then traveled to Towra Point Ramsar site. A 600 ha nature reserve in Botany Bay, hosting 40% of the mangroves and 60% of the tidal marshes in the Sydney the region.
Scientist Dr Jeff Kelleway and Dr Maria Palacios led the field activities. They introduced participants to the ecology of Australian coastal wetlands and demonstrated the field sampling protocols.
Citizen scientists used google maps on their phones to find sampling points over a 40,000 m2 grid covering mangroves (grey and river), salt marshes (i.e., succulents, marine grass, rushes), and swamp oaks.
On each sampling point, participants set 100 m2 plots and quadrants where they surveyed the vegetation by identifying species, measuring tree heights, canopy widths, counting aerial roots, and looking for crab holes. Participants also collected soil cores that will be analysed for carbon content and particle size.
Despite the hot sun and endless buzzing of flies, participants sampled 19 points of the grid and took 38 soil cores!
Mangrove plots were particularly challenging to survey, as they often included >10 trees with weird canopies and many stems. Walking through the high Juncus rushes was also hard for some – specially those wearing shorts !
Many thanks to all the Citizen Scientists who despite the adverse weather conditions worked hard to collect Blue Carbon data !!