Coastal Saltmarsh Protection Project

The Yarram Yarram Landcare Network Coastal Saltmarsh Protection Project has protected 700ha of saltmarsh since 2009. Working with landowners to protect and enhance high priority areas of coastal vegetation, adjoining the Ramsar listed wetlands of Corner Inlet and Nooramunga Marine and Coastal Park.

Saltmarsh before project commenced

Need

Historically stock have had free range in this saltmarsh area. Sediment and nutrients were at elevated levels and would ultimately end up in Corner Inlet and Nooramunga Marine and Coastal Park. This was having a negative impact on the ecology of this wetland area.

The protection and enhancement of the coastal saltmarsh on private land is vital to the future of the Nooramunga wetlands and Corner Inlet.

Planning works at one of the saltmarsh sites

Planning

Prior to the project commencing planning began with a clear vision to achieve the following objectives:

  • protect and enhance high priority areas of coastal saltmarsh between Port Albert and Bruthen Creek
  • reduce impacts of stock grazing on remnant coastal vegetation
  • fence off areas of coastal saltmarsh from stock for revegetation and natural rehabilitation
  • protect other Ecological Vegetation Classes in the immediate vicinity of coastal saltmarsh areas
  • to protect and enhance the coastal habitat areas for feeding, roosting and breeding sites for migratory and resident shorebirds
  • reduce impacts of soil erosion, sedimentation and nutrient runoff
  • protect and enhance orange-bellied parrot feeding sites
  • control and remove Weeds of National Significance from high value coastal habitat including gorse, boxthorn and spiny rush.

As part of the Corner Inlet Connections program, the Yarram Yarram Landcare Network worked with the WGCMA, and a range of agencies to ensure high quality works were prioritised. These agencies included:

Saltmarsh works

Works

This single-scale project has enabled the local community to work collaboratively. An ecological buffer zone has been created between farmland and the Corner Inlet Ramsar listed wetlands.

From 2009 to 2014 ten individual project sites involving 8 landholders have had the following works undertaken and completed:

  • 700ha of coastal vegetation fenced off and protected from stock
  • 25km of fencing erected using wildlife friendly plain wire
  • 35,000 locally indigenous tubestock planted
  • 50ha of Weeds of National Significance have been treated and or removed including gorse, boxthorn and spiny rush
  • Ten stock crossings have been built
  • Two very successful field days have been held to involve the local community and showcase the completed works.
Coastal Saltmarsh

Outcomes

The long term goal to provide a continuous biolink to protect the Nooramunga wetlands and improve water quality is now becoming a reality. Strong partnerships have been forged with the local farming community which has enabled successful delivery and the continuation of future work.

The Yarram Yarram Landcare Network were the proud winners of a Victorian Coastal Council award in 2014 in the Natural Environment section for their contribution to the improvement of coastal and marine environment.



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