Date: May 16 and May 17, 2019
Participants: HSBC, Qantas, QBE, ANZ, EY, Next DC, Allens, Frasers Property, DHL
Site: Towra Point, Sydney
Research: Variability of Blue Carbon stocks across coastal vegetated systems
Beautiful sunny days for both of our back-to-back trips at Towra Point.
The days started early at 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 together 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.
After a quick picnic lunch on site, scientist Dr Jeff Kelleway and Dr Maria Palacios led the field activities. They introduced participants to the ecology and biology 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.
Using a RTK instrument, scientists took measures of elevation across the grid.
In just 3 hours of fieldwork, participants sampled 28 points of the grid and took 56 soil cores! Mangrove plots were particularly challenging to survey, as they often included >30 trees with weird canopies and many stems.
At the end of the day, Dr Maria Garcia (Earthwatch) led an eye-opening discussion on how participants could reduce their carbon footprint at home and work.
Many thanks to all our new members of the #BlueCarbonArmy who became Blue Carbon scientists for a day !!
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