Marine treasures captivate early risers
Residents have been waking their children early from their school holiday sleep to set out and explore Hedland’s natural aquatic wonderland.
Local marine monitor Doris Teufel organised five tours of the intertidal reefs around Port Hedland at the crack of dawn from April 16-20.
The morning adventurers were treated to a walk across sand dunes and rocks at the Rock of Ages, a kids’ exploration at Cemetery beach and through the dunes near Cooke Point, and excursions through the deeper waters near Lacy Street and the reef off Town beach.
“It’s just to try to put a bit more awareness of all the creatures around here,” Ms Teufel said.
“If you look at Coral Bay or Exmouth, the reefs haven’t got that biodiversity — that many different things on the reef (compared to us).”
“We have so many different species of corals, especially here (at Town Beach) in the deeper rock pools. Some boulder coral are 200 years old.
“It’s just me.
“I try to do my own thing, otherwise you can’t say what you think.”
Ms Teufel said she had seen a large amount of octopuses, corals, fish and even eels during the trips last week but there were concerns about fine sand or silt from dredging damaging ecosystems.
“Because of the dredging it really suffers a lot — they put the dredger 30km out in the ocean but when they open it on an incoming tide all the loose stuff floats back in to the reef,” she said.
“The corals need the sun to breathe and get their energy, the algae has to live through photosynthesis so when there is too much siltation on top they can’t get the sunlight — so that’s a bit of a worry.”
“When you look from the beach you wouldn’t expect that there’s anything alive.”
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