Protection & Restoration of the Coastal Foreshore at Anderson Inlet (Tarwin Landcare Group)

Protection & Restoration of the Coastal Foreshore at Anderson Inlet 

Funded by: Coastcare Victoria Community Grants Program

Partners: Coastcare, South Gippsland Water, Bunurong Aboriginal Land Council, Western Port Seagrass Alliance

Timeframe: 2021 – 2023

This project focused on protecting and enhancing Venus Bay’s white mangrove colonies through a combination of on-ground works and educational activities.

The project opened with a community field day at Venus Bay which explored the role mangroves play in preventing reduce erosion, creating habitat and combatting climate change. 

Two hundred students from Tarwin Lower, Meeniyan, Foster and Fish Creek Primary Schools attended field days run by the BugBlitz Foundation to boost their knowledge about mangroves and estuarine habitats. The field days were held at the Doyles Road Foreshore where the kids had a great time playing and learning in in the tidal zone.

Members of both TLG and the Fish Creek Landcare Group completed Waterwatch training also delivered by BugBlitz. TLG members went on to collect water samples from the Tarwin River each month for the following year. The samples were couriered to a lab in Melbourne courtesy of South Gippsland Water for analysis and indicate that the Tarwin River falls short of many of the benchmarks for river health set by the Environmental Protection Authority. We have spoken wth the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and are currently scoping strategies for developing a management plan for the Tarwin River. 

The mangrove seed (propagule) collection and planting occurred in the first week of January 2023. We hoped to collect 500 viable propagules but managed to collect 2000. This gave us the opportunity to trial three different planting regimes: attaching propagules to bamboo sticks before skewering them into the tidal zone (current best practice), direct soil planting and scattering propagules over nearby seagrass.

So far, our monitoring indicates a 60-80% germination rate, with direct planting and staking more successful than scattering. We have shared our findings with the Western Port Seagrass Alliance and the WGCMA, which is keen to carry out its own mangrove revegetation at a private site near Mahers Landing (directly opposite the Doyles Road Foreshore site) which is suffering erosion. We have offered to help the WGCMA collect and plant propagules next December/January.

A highlight of the project was the development of an interpretive sign explaining the many values of mangroves which has been erected at the entrance to the foreshore. It features stunning artwork by Bunurong artist Heather Kennedy and will be a lasting reminder of the project and TLG’s efforts to protect Venus Bay’s mangroves for future generations.

Tarwin Landcare Group member Kirby taking a water sample on the Tarwin River.

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