Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
Dana Burfeind won the ‘WaterSecure - Research Award’ at last night’s Healthy Waterways Awards for her break-through research called Nuisance algae in Moreton Bay - symptom and cause of seagrass loss.

Caulerpa taxifolia, known as feather algae, is a highly invasive species that is native to Moreton Bay. Its increasing distribution has been of concern since 2005, but little has been known about the algae’s ecology or its interactions with seagrasses.

As a postdoctoral research fellow at Griffith University and The University of Queensland, Dana Burfeind undertook research which found that seagrass and Caulerpa dynamics are regulated by water quality in Moreton Bay. She also discovered that Caulerpa does not overgrow seagrass; rather seagrass is lost through declining water quality or large scale environmental disturbances.

“Caulerpa in Moreton Bay does not kill seagrass but once seagrass dies back at times of poor water quality, such as times of flooding, the algae takes hold and the seagrass cannot recover,” Ms Burfeind said.

From Dana’s research, a model has been developed that predicts Caulerpa growth and distribution under different environmental conditions, such as light, temperature and nutrients. This will allow for a better understanding of Caulerpa colonisation within Moreton Bay.

Acting CEO of WaterSecure, Mr Sam Romano said they are proud to sponsor the Research Award category because they believe that knowledge leads to better management of our water supplies and waterways.

“Good science and community partnerships play a powerful role in bringing the region closer to an environmentally sustainable and economically viable future,” Mr Davies said.

Now in its eleventh year, the annual Healthy Waterways Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of groups and individuals working to improve the health of South East Queensland’s waterways and catchments.

The 2011 Healthy Waterways Awards category winners are:
• eWater - Water Sensitive Urban Design Award: Rain Bank - stormwater harvesting and reuse by South Bank Corporation
• WaterSecure - Research Award: Nuisance algae in Moreton Bay: symptom and cause of seagrass loss by Dana Burfeind from Griffith University and The University of Queensland
• BMT WBM - Government Award: Waterways Extension Program - Council partnering with landholders for waterways recovery by Redland City Council
• Seqwater - Rural Award: Rosevale floodplain reinstatement and land management project by SEQ Catchments in partnership with DERM, DEEDI, SEQTOA, Healthy Waterways and Griffith University
• Humes - Industry Award: Prefabricated fishway system for small waterway structures by Walaman Fishways, CM Concrete Products Pty Ltd and James Cook University
• Brisbane Airport - Community Award: Sustainable Communities by Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee Inc (B4C)
• SEQ Water Grid - Clean Up Award: Caring for Pumicestone Passage and Caloundra Foreshores by Night Eyes Association Inc
• Veolia Water Australia - Education Award: Bunya to the Bay 2010 by Stanley River Environmental Education Centre (Education Queensland)
• Queensland Urban Utilities - Waterways Champion Award: Bill Dennison.

The Rural category winner - Rosevale floodplain reinstatement and land management project - was chosen as the most innovative project by the independent judging panel, receiving the $10,000 Minister’s Grand Prize.

Minister for Environment, The Hon Vicky Darling, acknowledged the individuals and organisations involved in activities to protect and improve our waterways.

“I commend the Healthy Waterways Awards finalists and winners for undertaking projects to improve the condition of our local rivers, creeks and catchments,” Minister Darling said.

“The Awards play a major role in engaging more people to contribute to a cleaner and greener South East Queensland,” she said.

The Healthy Waterways Awards are hosted by Healthy Waterways, a not-for-profit, non-government organisation working collaboratively with government, industry and the community to protect and improve waterway health in South East Queensland.

For more information about the Healthy Waterways Awards, visit or contact Healthy Waterways on 07 3177 9100.

Contact Profile

2011 Healthy Waterways Awards

The annual Healthy Waterways Awards recognise and reward the outstanding achievements of groups, individuals and organisations who undertake work to protect and restore the health of South East Queensland's waterways.
There are nine Award categories open to individuals, community groups and organisations who are working towards achieving healthy waterways.

Each entrant has the chance to win a share in $23,500 prize money with the most innovative of all category winners receiving the Minister’s Grand Prize worth $10,000. Check out the 2010 winners and finalists.
Every year, the Awards receive extensive media interest resulting in numerous published media articles. Check out the 2011 'launch' media release. In 2010, winners were profiled in a television feature on Channel 7’s program The Great South East.
Healthy Waterways gratefully acknowledges the support received from sponsors of the Awards.
Lani Pauli
P: 07 3309 4732


WaterSecure, Healthy Waterways Awards 2011, Moreton Bay, environment



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