Barangaroo's underwater garden 1 year on

11 Oct 2021

Barangaroo’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond what happens on land to below the waterline. In 2020, the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) together with Reef Design Lab and SMC, installed nearly 400 panels in Watermans Cove that mimic oyster reefs, sponges and rock pools to create a natural underwater habitat. The panels were made using 3D printing technology and incorporated recycled oyster shells to enhance their sustainability. They were planted with native brown kelp (rescued from pilings undergoing maintenance at a nearby location), encouraging marine species to make them their home.

You can watch the panels being installed in Watermans Cove here.

As part of SIMS’ Living Seawalls project, Watermans Cove’s new underwater garden will be monitored over five years to record its rate of growth and remove invasive or pest species. Earlier in September 2021, the SIMS team inspected the underwater garden and found it to be thriving with new seaweed babies and fish (large and small) making use of the panels as shelter and food.

Watch the video below to join the divers under the sea!

Initial research for the design of the panels was supported by an Australian Research Council grant awarded to Macquarie University and UNSW in partnership with Lendlease and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. Lendlease also provided the funding to install the panels in Watermans Cove. Infrastructure NSW is very excited to work with SIMS to continue to collect data on this important project to help inform future urban planners, policy makers and designers about how we can enhance and protect urban marine biodiversity. 

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