Other Research

Annual Coffs Coast Sea Slug Census

Coffs Coast Sea Slug Census is now in its second year and has recorded 191 species.  

Details of Census findings and news:
Coffs Coast Sea Slug Census 2019
Coffs Coast Sea Slug Census 2020
ABC News 2019 census

    

The most interesting finds: 2019 Sagaminopteron psychedelicum 2020 Doris immonda -  Craig and Alex Lewis

Coffs Coast is not the only area to conduct this census. The census started in 2012 in Port Stephens but has expanded to 10 locations along the Australian coast. Citizen scientists in these locations join with experts from Southern Cross University (SCU) National Marine Science Centre to locate, photograph and identify these animals. Apart from the pleasure of finding these colourful critters, the results provide a crucial scientific understanding of environmental changes. The sea slugs have very short life cycles so any changes can be observed over a short period in these animals. 

 

Investigating water quality in Coffs coastal estuaries and the relationship to adjacent land use

Coffs Harbour City Council engaged Southern Cross University to perform water quality investigations in coastal estuaries with funding from the Environmental Levy Program. Topics of concern include the rapid expansion of the blueberry horticultural industry and potential implications to waterways and the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP). This report focuses on sediment and water analysis from Hearnes Lake downstream of a catchment with intensive horticulture land use. 

 The following reports are a result of this research.

Investigating water quality in Coffs coastal estuaries and the relationship to adjacent land use
Part 1: Sediments
Part 2: Water quality

 

Sea anemones used in the marine aquarium trade

 Nicola Fraser is investigating sea anemones used in the marine aquarium trade. There is very little published information about species and Nicola's starting by asking marine aquarium enthusiasts, public aquarium managers and aquarium-related businesses about their sea anemone preferences. If you are or know someone suitable, please pass on the links for these surveys. If you'd like more information, you can contact Nicola at n.fraser.22@student.scu.edu.au

 

Water quality on Bucca Bucca Creek and the potential impacts of intensive plant agriculture

Shane's two talks to SURG members and guests generated a considerable amount of interest. Shane discussed the results of his Honours research (below) which involved analysis of water samples taken at various places along Bucca Bucca Creek during 2017. Overall, the analysis revealed a clear link between blueberry farming and nitrogen runoff in headwater streams. Shane's overall recommendation is ". . . site-specific management approaches to reduce farm nitrogen runoff, and the assessment of potential impacts of blueberry nitrogen runoff to downstream habitats such as estuaries and the Solitary Islands Marine Park."