WORSENING BLOOMS of Lyngbya have been smothering large areas of mud and seagrass in Roebuck Bay in recent years, posing a threat to the Bay’s remarkable marine biodiversity.
THE CAUSE FOR LYNGBYA BLOOMS is likely to be run-off and polluted groundwater from Broome. Pollutants such as treated wastewater, fertiliser, garden waste and pindan soil enter Roebuck Bay directly through stormwater drains during wet season runoff. Contaminants leach through our soils too, flowing into groundwater under Broome (fertiliser, effluent) to eventually, enter Roebuck Bay and Indian Ocean. These nutrients can help Lyngbya grow and spread, so community action is needed now and Broome schools can be a great help.
Adopt a drain
Clean-up the rubbish in a drain in or near your school and remember to record the types and amount of litter. Take lots of photos and let Roebuck Bay Working Group and the media know so they can do a story and promote your fantastic school.
Stencil footpaths beside drain inlets
Contact the RBWG to gain permission to stencil footpaths beside drains in your school and neighbourhood with the Keep Our Bay Clean logo. You will educate students and the community about preventing nutrients and pindan entering the drains and feeding Lyngbya blooms in Roebuck Bay.
Grow local coastal plants
Ask the school to plant local native shrubs and trees – they need less fertiliser and water and attract wildlife. And make sure you label them with Latin and Yawuru names.
A new gardening book has been produced by Roebuck Bay Working Group. Coastal Gardens A planting guide for Broome on the Dampier peninsula is available from Rangelands NRM office, Unit 11 Lotteries House, 20 Cable Beach Rd, Broome. Gold coin donations welcome
The size of a mini iPad), the book provides practical advice on growing a waterwise garden that benefits your wallet and Broome’s coastal waters. Coastal Gardens is online and perfect on smartphones »
The local coastal plants (endemics) selected, thrive in Broome soils and climate, most are cyclone resistant, require less water than introduced plants and resistant to tropical pests. The book includes plants to avoid – with many weeds in Broome, escaped garden exotics.
Lawns and gardens
Ask your school to adopt Keep Our Bay Clean garden tips such as mulching, slow release fertilisers, soil improvers and sensible use of fertilisers as outlined.
What else can you do?
Please don’t drive quads or trail bikes onto the bay’s foreshore as it causes erosion and disturbs migratory shorebirds, who rest at the water’s edge on the high tide so they can put on fat stores for their 10,000 km breeding migration to the northern hemisphere each year.
Volunteer on Roebuck Bay projects
Volunteer to monitor Seagrass, Benthos, Turtles, Dolphins, or try a Litter cleanup and use a Source Reduction sheet to contribute scientific data that helps protect and manage Roebuck Bay. See the volunteer projects on offer »
Write a letter
Write to Shire asking them to improve drainage design to reduce nutrient and sediments flowing into Roebuck Bay and to clean up rubbish in drains before the wet season each year.
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.
Roebuck Bay Working Group Inc.: Protection and advocacy of Roebuck Bay's outstanding natural and cultural values.