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July 15, 2020 41 min

Crayweed, a type of seaweed, forms dense forests on shallow reefs all the way from Port Macquarie to Tasmania. However, there is a 70 km gap in crayweed off the coast of Sydney. Sometime during the 1980s, crayweed disappeared completely between Palm Beach and Cronulla, likely due to the poorly treated sewage that used to be pumped directly onto Sydney’s beaches. However, despite Sydney's water quality improving dramatically since the establishment of the deep ocean sewage outfalls, the crayweed forests have not returned.

Ziggy Marzinelli leads the crayweed restoration research at the University of Sydney and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, and is part of Operation Crayweed, a concerted effort to restore Sydney's underwater crayweed forests. One of the places they are working is Cabbage Tree Bay near Manly, and have enlisted the help of ocean swimming group with Bold and the Beautiful (stay tuned for a podcast with them very soon).

Image from Patagonia AUS & NZ, who are also working with Operation Crayweed.

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