We have obtained funding from the Federal Government under its Landcare Program to develop Australia’s first community oyster gardening initative on Bribie Island. Oyster gardening is a great way to inform and educate the local community through active participation while generating a source of live shellfish for future reef restoration research.
An information evening was held on the 3rd August 2016 at Banksia Beach State School, Sunderland Drive, Banksia Beach. There a presentation was made informing around 60 prospective gardeners about the project and its wider context. Afterwards attendees got to chat together and meet their molluscs. Much interest was generated including an interview by 612 ABCs Spencer Howson on the breakfast show on 12 August 2016, which can be heard below:
Australia’s first oyster gardens began to be delivered in October 2016 and you can see and hear how the ABC tagged along for some of our deliveries here . Later in the growing season the good people from the TV program Scope dropped by, and their video can be seen on youtube here. Our gardeners have generated some interesting results and their observations have populated our Creature Feature1 , Creature Feature2 and Creature Feature3 newsletters as well as our Stonefish Alert.
Those who are interested in gardening can download our Oyster Gardening Leaflet which is a handy guide to help you get started as Australia’s first oyster gardeners. If you want to become an accredited oyster gardener, you will need to fill out our Oyster Gardening Application Form on page 8 of the leaflet and return it to us and we will add you to the waiting list.
For those participating in the scheme (or for anyone interested in knowing more about local inhabitats of oyster reefs), you can download our Guide to Oyster Associates , while blank oyster gardening datasheets for our measuring periods (November and April, measuring instructions HERE) can also be downloaded from HERE. Results from our first 6 months gardening can be found for Sydney rock oysters HERE, and for leaf oysters HERE.
We have also been lucky enough to receive an Engaging Science Grant from the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist, to help us continue oyster gardening activities after November 2017. These grants are provided to encourage citizen science within our local communities. More information can be found on the Advance Queensland Website.