An endangered seahorse was found alive under the Opera House
In very, very good news for seahorses, Sydney Harbor and Sydneysiders, for the first time in history, scientists have discovered an endangered species of seahorse living quietly beneath the Opera House.
In 2019, the Opera House installed a series of artificial modular reefs under their building, with scientists hoping to increase marine biodiversity across Sydney Harbour. In early August, marine scientists inspected living artificial reefs for the first time in a year and came across a rather remarkable discovery: an endangered species White’s Seahorsea tiny species that generally lives closer to the open ocean and is very rarely found this far out in Sydney Harbour.
Along with the fact that this artificial reef is set in relatively murky waters, in a busy part of Sydney Harbour, the discovery of seahorses is made even more incredible, proving that these living seawall installations do, in fact, work.
This living breakwater is one of nine that currently line the harbor, with scientists installing concrete panels that resemble natural features in the harbor environment in hopes they will attract smaller sea creatures, which at in turn will attract penguins, seals, dolphins and large fish to the harbor, while improving the overall water quality.
Following a $9.1 million funding increase from the New South Wales state government, at least 70 more living dykes are expected to be installed in the harbour, along with widespread planting of seagrass meadows and kelp forests to help restore habitats, improve marine biodiversity and increase carbon storage.
Marine scientists and researchers are working together to restore Sydney Harbor to its former glory as a thriving estuarine ecosystem following human-induced degradation of the harbor over the past 50 years, with the success of living seawalls instilling everyone a sense of reality hope for the future.
Combine that with the awesome news that the coral in the The Great Barrier Reef is regrowing at an unprecedented rateand frankly, we all have a winner.