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Sometimes nature needs a little helping hand.

Vast underwater forests have gone missing from the Sydney coastline, with repercussions for local fish, abalone, crayfish and coastal marine biodiversity.

We have a solution, but we need your help. In this initial phase we are aiming to raise over $20,000 to kick-start the restoration of Sydney's underwater forests in four sites. Underwater Christmas Trees are now sold out, but you can still help us enjoy a brighter 2016 by buying or giving an Underwater Tree and showing your appreciation for Sydney's beautiful coastline. Every card will buy an Underwater Tree and spread the word about the campaign. FOR EVERY $5,000 WE GET ABOVE OUR INITIAL GOAL WE WILL BE ABLE TO BRING CRAYWEED BACK TO YET ANOTHER SYDNEY SITE.

Seaweeds may not be the most glamorous of sea creatures, but they’re vitally important. Like trees on the land, seaweeds form vast underwater forests that provide critical food and habitat for hundreds of species, all while quietly capturing atmospheric carbon and producing precious oxygen.

‘Crayweed’ forms dense forests on shallow reefs all the way from Port Macquarie down to Tasmania. Not that long ago, crayweed also flourished along the Sydney coastline, but it disappeared completely during the 1980s - from Palm Beach all the way to Cronulla.

We think this extinction was the result of previous poor sewage practice – poor treatment and release too close to the shore – thankfully this stopped in the 1990s. Since then Sydney water quality has improved dramatically BUT the crayweed forests have never returned.

Crayweed provides food and habitat to a huge diversity of fish and invertebrates, including economically important abalone and crayfish. Other species of seaweed do not play the same role in Sydney’s marine environment. Losing crayweed is bad news for our local marine biodiversity and for any of us who love our coastline, enjoy eating seafood and diving or fishing.

The aim of OPERATION CRAYWEED is to bring crayweed back to reefs where it once flourished, and with it the marine life whose survival depends on it.

How The Funds Will Be Used

The first $20,000 will be used to fund phase 1 of restoration of new crayweed sites, including paying for boats, biodegradable mesh, and the sourcing and transport of the transplanted crayweed. 

Every $20,000 we raise allows our team to restore crayweed to 4 key sites between Palm Beach to Cronulla. We are EXTREMELY HUMBLED by the overwhelming response that our project is having, and we are now hoping that we can raise the bar and restore 6 or perhaps even 8 (!) sites by the end of this crowdfunding! This would mean reaching $40,000 by January 31st, and we are starting to think this is going to be possible!

From our base at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and UNSW Australia, we have already developed a successful method to create crayweed forests on reefs where they were once dominant, by transplanting healthy, fertile adults from existing populations and attaching them to deforested rocks using BIODEGRADABLE mesh drilled into the bottom. There, they survive, they thrive and they start having sex – a lot of sex.

So by creating patches of transplanted crayweed onto a reef, we can, in the long term, restore forests of this essential species in an entire site. The idea here, of course, is that by restoring crayweed we’re also restoring its associated community, and thereby increasing the chances of finding crayfish, abalone and a huge diversity of other fish and invertebrates at restored sites, which is good news for snorkelers, fishers, beach goers and seafood lovers.
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on 31st Jan 2016 at 9:49am. The payment portal is closed now.
A$20 +All GoneUnderwater Christmas TreeYou will receive a Welcome Pack including a tax deductible receipt, a Christmas card, a sticker and an Operation Crayweed Fact Sheet. NOTE: to post cards to you before Christmas we need pledges by: Friday 11 Dec - interstate, Thursday 17 Dec - NSW, or select Express Post option by 21 Dec latest. All supporters will also receive a digitial version of the card.
147 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2016
A$25 +Underwater TreeYou will receive a Welcome Pack including a tax deductible receipt, a Thank You card, a sticker and an Operation Crayweed Fact Sheet
70 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is February 2016
A$50 +Underwater Tree FamilyFor families and lovers! Warning! These trees will multiply. Plant a breeding pair of Underwater Trees to receive a Welcome Pack, acknowledgement on our website, 4 colour-in cards, 4 stickers, a fun kid's activity sheet and 2 Christmas cards if pledges received in time. NOTE: to post cards to you before Christmas we need pledges by: Friday 11 Dec - interstate, Thursday 17 Dec - NSW, or select Express Post option by 21 Dec latest. All supporters will also receive a digitial version of the card.
174 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is February 2016
A$150 +All Gone10 pack: Underwater TreesFeel good this Christmas! You will receive a Welcome Pack as above, 10 Christmas cards and an Operation Crayweed Fact Sheet. NOTE: to post cards to you before Christmas we need pledges by: Friday 11 Dec - interstate, Thursday 17 Dec - NSW, or select Express Post option by 21 Dec latest. All supporters will also receive a digitial version of the card.
40 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2016
A$500 +Small Crayweed ForestFor small business or very generous individuals. This donation will make a significant contribution to a site (25 trees) and you will receive a Welcome Pack, acknowledgement on our website and inclusion in any local media opportunities.
9 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is February 2016
A$5000 +Entire Crayweed Site Sponsor an entire site - you will receive acknowledgement on our website, inclusion in any media opportunities, and an opportunity to ‘Be a Scientist for a Day’* with our marine biologists when we restore a crayweed site. *group opportunity with any other major supporters. Date and time tbc, dependent on Operation Crayweed schedule and weather conditions. Note this is not tax deductible.
1 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is February 2016