CMERC is set to benefit from a new partnership with regional craft brewers Ballistic Beer Co.
Ballistic Beer Co. unveiled their new Reef Beers today in Bundaberg and announced that 10c from every can sold in the Bundaberg region would be donated to the research centre to assist in its ongoing seagrass research and restoration efforts along the Queensland coast.
One of the Centre's flagship projects involves engaging communities to help harvest seagrass flowers so that seeds can be collected and redispersed to regenerate vital ecological seagrass meadows.
CMERC Director, and Associate Professor Emma Jackson, thanked Ballistic Beer Co for supporting the project, which is currently being supported by community volunteers.
"Seagrass meadows are the kidneys of the Great Barrier Reef, they help offset our carbon footprint and are vital for the survival of several species, including dugongs and green turtles," Emma said.
"This partnership will help fund work to restore and research sub-tropical seagrass meadows. CMERC runs Queensland's only dedicated seagrass nursery, where we teach the next generation of environmental scientists. We work with recreational fishers and Traditional Owners to collect seagrass flowers and harvest millions of seeds for dispersal.
"By working with communities and volunteers across the Queensland coast, we hope to be able to regenerate seagrass meadows and improve the health and sustainability of our precious marine environments."
Ballistic Beer Co Commander-in-Chief David Kitchen said the company was proud to support regional reef research efforts by selling their new Reef Beers.
"Earlier this year, Ballistic Beer Co expanded its footprint beyond their Brisbane venues in Salisbury, West End and Springfield and merged with two regional craft breweries to create Ballistic Whitsundays and Ballistic Bargara," said Mr David.
"Regional communities are the beating heart of Queensland, and we know that if we want to become Queensland's favourite craft beer, we need to expand beyond Brisbane and support causes that are important to locals, like protecting the Reef."
CMERC is headquartered at CQUniversity's Gladstone marina campus and is the only coastal and marine research facility based in Central Queensland focusing on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
CMERC's seagrass restoration research is currently being rolled out off the coast of Gladstone, with new collection sites established near Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and the Sunshine Coast. A new site will also be established in the Whitsundays in 2022.
Professor Emma Jackson - Project Lead
Professor Emma Jackson is the Director of the Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre and a Research Fellow in Marine Ecology. She has 19 years of research expertise in the areas of fisheries ecology, seagrass landscape and restoration ecology, impacts on marine species, coastal marine habitats and ecosystem health indicators.