Funded by: Coastcare Victoria Community Grants Program
Partners: Coastcare, South Gippsland Water, Bunurong Aboriginal Land Council, Western Port Seagrass Alliance
Timeframe: 2021 – 2023
Tarwin Landcare Group is aiming to protect and enhance white mangrove colonies at the Doyles Road Foreshore, Venus Bay through a combination of on-ground works, citizen science and educational activities.
The project opened with community field day which explored erosion at Inverloch and Venus Bay, how mangroves can help reduce erosion, and their role in creating habitat and combatting climate change. Ecologists accompanied us to the foreshore where we were able to see the impacts of mangroves in action. The areas behind stands of mangroves were intact and boasted many layers of healthy native vegetation. In contrast, the areas without mangroves were severely degraded and contained a beautiful old eucalypt that will soon be lost to the sea.
Two-hundred students from Tarwin Lower, Meeniyan, Foster and Fish Creek Primary Schools took part in 1 or 4 excursions run by the Bug Blitz Foundation to boost their knowledge about mangroves and estuarine habitats . The kids had a great time playing in the water and in the tidal zone and we hope that they were able to share what they learned with their families.
Weather permitting, mangrove seed pods (propagules) will be collected in December 2022 for planting in January. Current best practice involves attaching the propagules to bamboo sticks and wedging them in the tidal zone until they germinate.
An interpretative sign featuring stunning artwork by Bunurong artist Heather Kennedy will be erected at Doyles Road to inform beach users about “mighty mangroves” and what they can do to protect them. The sign will explain that any strange looking sticks in the sand or water are part of our mangrove revegetation project and hopefully discourage people from removing them.
Waterwatch training also occured and members have been collecting water samples each month to assess the health of the Tarwin River which flows into Anderson Inlet. We are in the process of finalising 12 months’ worth of data and will share the results with South Gippsland Water, West Gippsland Catchment Authority and on this website.