Remember when we raised over $42,000 to reforest Sydney’s seas? Well, we just planted the underwater forest, and now seaweed sex is happening in Coogee.


On Saturday 16th of September, We Are Explorers community members gathered at Wylie’s Baths in South Coogee, Sydney to help Operation Crayweed plant the crayweed we funded through the Underwater Forest Project.


Wait a minute, what’s crayweed?

Maybe, you’re new around here? Last year, we met Operation Crayweed, a bunch of rad scientists from the University of NSW and the Sydney Marine Institute of Science, who are restoring a crucial underwater habitat: crayweed.



It’s a seaweed, that disappeared in the 1980s along a 70km stretch of Sydney’s coastline from running the city’s untreated sewage into the sea. The water quality has since improved, but the crayweed never returned. A shit situation… literally.

So, we started the Underwater Forest Project: A campaign rallying the We Are Explorers community to chip in and fund the cost of Operation Crayweed planting a new, $42,000 crayweed site off the coast of Sydney. An ambitious goal, that you all smashed!

We took the hard-earned cash that our natural-world-loving readers donated, and then the We Are Explorers crew and Operation Crayweed planted it on the seabed in Coogee – with a few steps in between.


The Planting Day

Meeting on the coastline of the Bidgigal and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, our Explorers and their snorkelling kits, were ready for a day of marine science and seaweed pimping.


First, Adriana from Operation Crayweed explained the process, showing us the mats fixed to the seabed to which the divers would attach the crayweed plants.

Then, we got our hands on the crayweed extracted from healthy populations in Cronulla that morning. We gathered data on the precious goods, ensuring a balance of male and female plants before prepping with zip-tie-like attachments, ready for mounting.


So, with snorkel-covered faces, and bags of crayweed in tow, we swam 50 metres offshore and began duck-diving the plants down to divers-turned-gardeners, affixing the plants below. Mission complete! One core component remained: lots of wet, salty seaweed sex.

Seaweed Sex!

Now, like wannabe grandparents, we wait for the motion of the ocean. Luckily, the seaweed wasted no time and began procreating over the weekend with craybies expected in April next year, permanently attached to the reef and forming a new, self-sustaining population. A home for marine life, for many years to come.


This project wouldn’t have happened without the incredible work of Operation Crayweed, the power of the We Are Explorers community and our project partners Project Blank, We Are Feel Good Inc,  Costa Del Mar and Athletic Brewing Co.

Photos by @tomburd and @jackjbrookes