Blue green Lyngbya majuscula blooms pose a serious threat to Roebuck Bay as they form thick anaerobic mats over seagrass. Anglers say that threadfin salmon avoid waters where Lyngbya is blooming and dugongs avoid feeding on affected seagrass. Lyngbya blooms impact mud invertebrates that are food for hungry shorebirds who migrate to the bay from the northern hemisphere every year. For humans, Lyngbya can cause rashes and breathing difficulties if touched.
Lyngbya blooms are linked to runoff and polluted groundwater. Pollutants such as wastewater, fertiliser, garden waste, chemicals, litter, animal faeces,detergents and pool water enter Roebuck Bay directly through our stormwater drains during rain. Similarly, fertiliser and sewage enter the Bay indirectly, leaching through soil into groundwater that flows into Roebuck Bay and Cable Beach.
These nutrients help Lyngbya grow and spread.
RBWG works hard to to reduce nutrients in Roebuck Bay:
Our partners work proactively too. Broome North (LandCorp) created a stormwater basin (planted with natives), Broome Shire widened and planted out the Anne St Drain, Parks and Wildlife monitor Lyngbya and three studies to determine the cause of Lyngbya blooms in the Bay, and Environs Kimberley expanded seagrass monitoring to include Lyngbya.
The Keep Our Bay Clean project is sponsored by
Roebuck Bay Working Group is comprised of Traditional Owners and government, local community, conservation groups and business. We work collaboratively to solve issues, raise awareness and encourage research and monitoring which supports responsible management and protection of Roebuck Bay.