Planting season has been in full swing on the Murray River with over 10,000 native seedlings being planted across various sites in collaboration with the Shire of Murray. The aim of the revegetation is to provide habitat for local wildlife and essentially improve the ecosystem health of the river.
The Murray River is the largest river in the Peel-Harvey Catchment and is one of the very few rivers that is not dammed for public water supply. It is a vital ecosystem that provides life and resources to native flora and fauna as well as our community. The need to protect and conserve this waterway is critical.
The Murray River is unfortunately faced with many challenges when it comes to ecosystem health. Overtime, due to various reasons, some sections of riverbank including the surrounding Delta Islands at the mouth of the Murray, have become subject to bank erosion, high weed loads and poor water quality. Guided by PHCC’s Murray River Action Plan work, revegetation activities were mapped out in priority areas in collaboration with the Shire of Murray to achieve maximum benefit of improving the health of the waterway. Revegetation not only helps increase habitat for local wildlife by creating corridors and linkages to surrounding bushland, but it has the capacity to stabilise river banks and improve water quality when using the right species (see Rushes and Sedges, Champions of Filtration article here).
As soon as the winter rains started to fall, PHCC’s Waterways Team swang into action to organise community planting days and help coordinate local planting experts from numerous organisations to ensure these native seedlings had the best chances at successful establishment. From 300 school students to 50 community volunteers at separate events over the month of June, over 10,000 native seedlings are now in the ground across five different areas on the Murray River. A massive collaborative effort between PHCC, Shire of Murray, Landcare SJ, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Winjan Rangers and the broader community. It is hoped that overtime these plants will improve overall ecosystem health of the Murray River by providing nutrient filtering benefits for improved water quality, habitat for ground dwelling animals as well as aquatic fauna and corridor linkages to neighbouring bushland reserves.
If you would like to see some of the fabulous work achieved by our community this planting season, make your way to the Willow Gardens foreshore reserve in South Yunderup where 2,000 seedlings have been planted in support of the Shire of Murray lead State NRM project ‘Engaging the community in riverbank restoration and rehabilitation’.
This project is supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Alcoa Foundation’s Three Rivers One Estuary Initiative and the Australian Government.