Sand dump kills off life. Small wildlife destoyed.
PASSIONATE marine life photographer Josh Jensen knows what lies beneath the waters of Noosa Spit - and until recently it was a joy to behold.
Anyone who cares to see the incredible colour and diversity of Noosa River's estuarine ecosystems need only go to Josh's website http://www.undersea
-river to marvel at a glimpse of what he has been filming for the past five months.
But Josh has recently returned from an overseas shoot and has been dismayed to find sand dumped right over the top of some rocks on the wall at the river mouth. And that, he fears, will kill off a small, but important, section of this marine environment.
"It was with great disappointment that my recent visit to the site revealed that the top few metres of rocks, with many of the 100 or so species I have recorded there so far, had been buried under a few cubic metres of sand.
"The rocks weren't pretty, but they were home to a good variety of wildlife.
"The oysters, barnacles, ascidians and soft corals, gobies, pipefish and nudibranchs - to name a few - were doing their bit to filter the water. And they were filling their various roles in the ecosystem as predators and prey.
"All of these critters are now dead and buried."
Josh is not sure who is responsible for the sand dump, but he suspects it is the same forces that triggered the Sunshine Coast Council restoration of "Dog Beach" and the removal of fallen trees.
"While the rocks themselves are not natural, they are providing the structure that so many of our river's inhabitants need for survival, and filling the role that fallen trees would normally perform."
He said a previous council impact assessment for the "Dog Beach" works showed that the fallen trees that lined the old doggy beach was the primary habitat for "the vast majority of fish and other marine life in that stretch of river".
"There's a set of stairs down there near the eddy zone - there looked like there was some sinking, or something happening," he said.
"So they dumped sand there."