Post-Bushfire Mangrove Recovery | Oceanwatch Australia

OceanWatch has been working with MangroveWatch, local Landcare groups, oyster growers, and community volunteers on the recovery of mangroves damaged by the 2019-2020 bushfire

Mangroves are essential habitats where many aquatic animals live, feed and breed, including most coastal fishery catches, and they are invaluable for preventing coastal erosion. Unfortunately, mangroves were destroyed in several NSW locations by the 2019-2020 bushfires. In partnership with MangroveWatch and Budd Island Landcare Group, OceanWatch has built the capacity of local oyster farmers and volunteers within the community to repair damaged mangrove habitats. The project has also built local teams of "Mangrove Watchers' to monitor mangrove health, and trialled assisted mangrove restoration techniques, such as planting seedlings and installing informative signage on recovering banks. Our first (2021-22) project focused on burnt mangroves in the Clyde, Moruya and Wonboyn rivers of the South Coast of NSW.
Specifically, in late 2021 we ran three MangroveWatch training days where we trained local community members in the ‘MangroveWatch methods’ to monitor mangrove health, damage, and recovery. These methods included photo points, transects and shoreline videos. Here we are in Wonboyn after conducting a transect.
After assessing that an intervention was necessary to speed up the natural recovery processes of the mangroves at the Clyde and Wonboyn sites, we conducted on-ground restoration action with the help of volunteers. In the Clyde River, the team planted 450 seedlings into the damaged areas in March-April 2022, after growing them in a local nursery looked after by local oyster farmers.
As part of this project, in Wonboyn we also established a permanent educational sign in Myrtle Cove, if you are ever in the area make sure to check it out!
This Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project is supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.
This year (2023) we are supported by the Landcare Riparian Restoration Grants program to build and expand on our previous project. We will be working in the Clyde estuary, Wonboyn Lake and also North Haven, organising Mangrovewatch events and planting mangroves. This year, we will also plant river mangroves (A. corniculatum), which is a first in the NSW South Coast! We look forward to collaborate with volunteers on the ground, please reach out if you would like to be a part of our restoration efforts.
The Landcare Riparian Restoration Grants program is supported by Local Land Services with funding from the NSW Government’s $200 million Regional Recovery Package.
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