This award recognises and celebrates conservation leadership striving to protect and preserve NSW’s precious natural environment, including our ecosystems, threatened species (both plants and animals), natural habitats, land and soil and water resources.
Natural Environment Award
Recognises those who are committed to conserving NSW’s unique biodiversity.
2017 Green Globe Awards winner
Sydney Institute of Marine Science (and UNSW): Operation Crayweed Underwater Restoration
It was once dominant along Sydney Sydney’s coastline. Then around 30 years ago it mysteriously disappeared.
It was crayweed, a big brown seaweed forming underwater forests that supported a unique ecological community of fish and invertebrates, including highly valued lobster and abalone fisheries.
In an innovative project to restore the species to Sydney’s foreshores led by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, the Operation Crayweed team has combined cutting-edge ecological research, citizen science, community engagement and art to raise awareness about the importance of underwater seaweed forests.
Recreational divers, a crowdfunding campaign, a website and film, extensive media, art installations at Sculpture by the Sea, and more than a hundred school children have all contributed to the project.
By championing marine restoration together with seaweed-focused outreach, the team has reversed the local extinction of crayweed along the Sydney coastline. The project has significantly increased public awareness of global marine habitat degradation, and demonstrated the positive role of science and community engagement in a species recovery.