Salt marsh restoration project wins national Coastcare Award
Jo McPhee and Richard Owen from Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group received the Sure Gro Treemax Coastcare Award on behalf of the group.
Over the last 17 years, salt marsh areas on Hindmarsh Island have been slowly rehabilitated thanks to the ongoing efforts of Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group.
The group of volunteers have planted 500,000 plants on over 100 sites across the island, using plants they have grown in their nursery. From planning to seed collection, propagation, planting, and site management, Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group have been part of the revegetation process from beginning to end.
The group’s outstanding work was recognised at the 2018 National Landcare Awards in October, with the group winning the Sure Gro Tree Max Coastcare Award. The award recognises a community group or network that has demonstrated excellence in activities that have contributed to the significant improvement of local coast or marine environments, including estuaries, coastal and marine wetlands, and salt marsh ecosystems.
Members of Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group in the nursery.
Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group aims to protect and rehabilitate salt marsh areas, with a focus on reconnecting waterways. Since 2001, the group has been working on the Murray Mouth Estuary Restoration Project.
The Murray Mouth Estuary Restoration Project has involved increasing habitat connectivity, propagating local species, and mitigating erosion via fencing and strategic plantings. This work has achieved long-term benefits for local flora, fauna, native fish, and invertebrates on the island. In addition to growing and planting trees, the group also coordinates woody weed control, implements strategies to reduce the spread of invasive weeds, and assists other nurseries by sharing their knowledge.
Hindmarsh Island is a sacred island in the lower Murray River near the town of Goolwa, South Australia. The island’s wetlands have been disconnected since the River Murray flooded in 1956 and the local ecosystem has also suffered from land clearing and in the introduction of foreign plants.
Richard Owen was excited to accept the award on behalf of Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group. “The quality and diversity of projects across this category was very high and we are rapt to be signalled out to receive this award,” he said.
To read more about the 2018 National Landcare Award winners click here.