Australian Coastal and Marine Ecology's Mat Davis says the glistening waters of Moreton Bay are definitely inviting, but the future of its beauty is in our hands.
“We have so much to protect,” Mat says.
“There are so many possibilities but only one future and it’s not just my future, it’s our future, our children’s future and their children’s future.”
Mat says his passion for preserving the region’s beaches came to him during a surfing trip.
“Urban development is essential and it’s growing and our population is increasing so rapidly that I thought ‘how could I help do this in a more ecologically sustainable way?’.”
As the director of Australian Coastal and Marine Ecology, Mat now works on environmental management for construction projects valued at more than $1 billion and robust scientific research projects from his head office at Scarborough.
His passion has grown and so has his business — with offices in Sydney and Rockhampton too. But the marine ecologist has a soft spot for his region as a resident of Moreton Bay, and the problems we face as a community.
“We live in an incredibly diverse bay, but sedimentation build-up smothers marine environments such as coral, which means there is less habitat for wildlife,” he explains.
It’s an issue often bandaged with temporary solutions such as artificial reefs but Mat believes the only way to kill the weed is to pull it from its roots.
“If a bath was overflowing you would turn the tap off before you tried to mop up the overflow,” he says.
“That’s what we need to do with the bays. Pollution and increased sediment are the biggest challenges we’re facing. There’s about 800sq m of sedimentation that has gone out into the bay in the last 40 years.”
But Mat says the solution and preservation of Moreton Bay starts at home.
“Single-use plastics are a common issue we all have in our homes. Using biodegradable products will make a huge difference for our future generations,” he says. “As singular people we can make a big difference.”
Visit acmecology.com.au for details
WHAT YOU CAN DO AT HOME
Cut out single-use plastics: Items such as plastic bags, water bottles, straws, polystyrene and food packaging are major contributors to the amount of plastic in our oceans and waterways. Try changing over to biodegradable products where you can.
Revegetation: Replanting and rebuilding the soil of disturbed land slows down the run-off of nutrients and pesticides in to our waterways.
Clean up: As well as cutting out single-use plastics, picking up rubbish left behind in our parks and on our beaches is a quick way to ensure less litter is entering our bay.