Sydney Harbor Project Restore nabs $4.5M for restoration of seascapes


Seabirds to Seascapes, one of the largest harbor-based marine ecosystem restoration initiatives headed by the NSW (New South Wales) Department of Planning and Environment, is reportedly receiving funds worth $6.6 million from the Government under the NSW Environmental Trust's new financing programs.

Under this initiative, Project Restore, one of the leading components of the Seabirds to Seascapes initiative, will get $4.5 million and will focus on Sydney Harbor.

According to SIMS, this project will generate significant research impact, given its implementation strategy that includes interactive restoration processes and outcomes on ferries that commute on Sydney Harbor, extending its current engagement with the community to other different stakeholders and documenting economic, environmental, and social impact from the project's outset formally.

For the unversed, Project Restore is headed by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), a pioneer and cooperative marine science center between UTS, UNSW Sydney, University of Sydney, and Macquarie University.

With more than 100 scientists and graduate students associated with the institute, SIMS represent a wide array of skills in marine science.

Commenting on the move, Martina Doblin, SIMS CEO, stated that using existing Sydney Institute of Marine Science restoration programs, the project will provide a template for restoring whole seascapes, which to date have operated independently.

Large-scale restoration is hardly attempted for the marine ecosystems, however, Sydney Harbor is all prepared to become a standard for how seascape restoration can take place globally.

Meanwhile, this project is also intended to strengthen NSW's natural environment by reestablishing critical ecosystems and habitats within Sydney Harbour.

It emphasizes the scarce populations of Posidonia australis and the threatened and protected species it provides habitat for, like White's Seahorse, Green Turtles, Little Penguins, pipefish, and sea dragons.

The project is anticipated to start in three phases. The first step is a site selection phase, followed by on-site work, and the last phase evaluates the restoration's success.

The understanding and knowledge acquired from Project Restore can be further implemented in other degraded habitats in NSW and other places worldwide.

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