The shire’s water catchment may continue to suffer for years after ground was laid bare from the summer bushfires and flooding rains washed sediment in Eurobodalla’s creeks and rivers.
Eurobodalla Council’s sustainability team is working to control water catchment inputs, including sediment, ash and organic material to help ensure water quality and protect our aquatic environments and aquaculture industry.
Immediately following the fires Council worked with South East Local Land Services to undertake training sessions for landholders, Local Aboriginal Land Councils, Landcare groups and contractors on how best to control erosion. This included the installation of coir logs or fencing, sand bags, positioning logs and root balls and reshaping banks and sediment ponds.
Erosion is likely to continue for some years and areas that are unlikely to regenerate quickly on their own are candidates for strategic planting to foreshore planting. Weed control will also play an import role into the future, helping to minimise competition with native species in vulnerable areas.
These actions will stabilise soil in water catchments by encouraging vegetative regrowth and slowing water flow. On top of environmental protections, the shire’s drinking water supply, our fisheries and oyster industries, and recreation and tourism industries all benefit.
To assist, Eurobodalla Council has applied for funds from the NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment, Coastal and Estuary Grant Program for Bushfire Affected Coastal Waterways, and is working with neighbouring Shoalhaven and Bega Valley Shire Councils in a region-wide approach to waterway restoration.
Both Council and the NSW Government have planned additional water quality sampling and installation of remote data collectors that automatically record changes in water quality, providing a better understanding of the impact of bushfire on coastal waterways and the effectiveness of our actions in targeted areas.
For more information on the Eurobodalla’s natural environment and the work Council is doing to protect it, visit https://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/living-in/natural-environment.
Above: Floating sediment in the Tuross catchment near Turlinjah after recent flooding.