21 C
Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

North coast farmers bring wetlands back to life

Latest News

World record-breaking sailor takes out SCU’s Alumnus of the Year Award

If you’re seeking a bit of inspiration in your life, look no further than Southern Cross University’s Alumnus of the Year, Lisa Blair.

Other News

Sale of St Oswald’s

To my utter disbelief the Grafton Diocese has decided it should sell the St Oswald’s church building and land....

Stop logging core koala habitat at Cherry Tree State Forest 

If it was private land it would be considered core koala habitat so why are the NSW government allowing Cherry Tree State Forest to be logged?

Women Who Lead team focus on housing and environment

Letitia Kelly is heading the Independent Group F, Women Who Lead ticket in the upcoming Tweed Shire Council elections.

Lismore Councillor candidate bios – Group A: Labor

The Echo asked all the Lismore election Councillor candidates to send in a bio. First cab off the rank was current Councillor Darlene Cook and Group A.

Is it time to challenge the idea of Big Australia?

Premier Dominic Perrottet recently announced his intention to build a Big NSW. Much of this Big Population and Big Economy will be generated by a doubling of the state’s pre-covid migration intake.

Water security needed and that means we need to think beyond the traditional dam

As two professional engineers, each with over 40 years of experience in the water industry, we support Rous County Council’s decision to start tapping into underground water resources to meet the growing water supply needs of our region.

One of the wetlands in the Go with the Flow project once the program was completed. Photo supplied
One of the wetlands in the Go with the Flow project once the program was completed. Photo supplied

Four farmers on the north coast have put life back into drained swamps on their properties by participating in a Department of Primary Industries (DPI) program that allows them to regulate the amount of water that enters wetland areas.

The so-called ‘Go with the Flow’ program, which was assisted by funds from the NSW Environmental Trust, is continuing and more farmers in the region are being encouraged to sign up.

DPI fisheries manager, Simon Walsh said the program allows the farmers to continue to use the once dried-out swamps for grazing land, at the same time improving natural wetland conditions on land along the Richmond River.

‘Many privately owned artificially drained wetlands along the NSW coast suffer from poor quality thin soils, which produce sulphuric acid when they dry out,’ Mr Walsh said.

‘The acid from the soil then moves out into the river, where it can directly kill fish and oysters or reduce their ability to thrive.

‘Dry swamps also encourage growth of unsuitable plants that decompose quickly once flooded, leading to blackwater events that in recent years have caused fish kills.’

Mr Walsh said as part of the ‘Go with the Flow’ program, DPI installed simple structures on four properties near Coraki on the Richmond River.

‘This gives farmers the opportunity to regulate the amount of freshwater in the swamp to meet their changing needs,’ Mr Walsh said.

‘In very wet periods, these farmers will now be able to let excess surface water leave the swamp areas, while during dry seasons and droughts they will be able to hold more water in the area.

The same (dried out) wetland prior to the Go with the Flow project work starting. Photo supplied
The same (dried out) wetland prior to the Go with the Flow project work starting. Photo supplied

‘By assisting farmers to maintain higher groundwater levels in swamp country, they can encourage the establishment of nutritious native grass species which cattle thrive on.’

Mr Walsh said more water in swamps also has a range of environmental benefits for wildlife and water quality for the catchment.

‘Around 300 hectares of wetland area now have higher surface water levels as a result of this program,’ Mr Walsh said.

‘This has seen significantly improved conditions for water dependent wildlife, including fish, prawns, frogs, insects and waterbirds.’

Landholders with drained swamp country that are interested in participating in the program should contact Simon Walsh on 6626 1256.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Sounds great. Perhaps Mr Walsh, DPI Fisheries manager, should be given the opportunity to speak to Pru Goward before her department makes a decision on the proposed West Byron development.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Ballina Council agrees to consider tighter holiday let policy

The Ballina Shire Council has voted unanimously to investigate options for restricting short-term rental accommodation.

Lismore Councillor candidate bios – Group A: Labor

The Echo asked all the Lismore election Councillor candidates to send in a bio. First cab off the rank was current Councillor Darlene Cook and Group A.

Gladys just doesn’t get it? Bullshit.

The rules are lost to the dark art of time, but when I was younger, we used to play a card game called ‘Bullshit’...

Flood warning for Richmond and Wilsons Rivers

A deepening low pressure trough through the northeast of the state is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms during Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the State Emergency Service.