A negative consequence of all that rain

14 10 2013

We had record rainfall in September, which was great for the farmers, the garden, etc. But it won’t be good for the bushfire risk over summer, which will be heightened with all that growth. And it hasn’t been good for the estuary. You’d think that record rainfall would flush the estuary, and no doubt it has, but it’s also flushed out a lot of nutrients from the land, such as from fertilisers etc. and dumped them in the estuary.

As a result, there are massive yellow-green algae blooms covering big amounts of the surface area. These (toxic?) blooms may well harm wildlife living, nesting, and breeding on or alongside the estuary, and thus causing loss of life. A LOT of bird species call the estuary home — black swans, pelicans, egrets, herons, spoonbills, ducks — and a lot of other bird species live close to the estuary (ibis, magpies, wagtails, etc.), as well as crabs, fish, even dolphins in the deeper parts, and tortoises in the wetlands surrounding the estuary (the wetlands are covered in algae too).

We’ve been in our current house for more than three years and I drive by the estuary at least four times a week. In all that time, I have never seen algae like I’ve seen in the past two weeks.Actually, I can’t recall seeing algae at all.

Here’s a photo I took today — the blue bits are the ‘clear’ water, the brown bits are the sand bars (the estuary is quite shallow), and the yellow-green bits are the algae floating on the surface of the water. And the black dots are two black swans (click the image to view it larger).

algae


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One response

15 10 2013
Dawn C,

What a beautiful place to live! I love how your flickr (sp?) shows the impact of nature and it’s flow and how you relate it to your quilts. I hope everything turns out ok with the wildlife, no harm, etc.

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