CMA Board inspects recent works in the Lower Hunter
The skies were clear but plenty of rainwater continued to run through the creeks and rivers across the Lower Hunter on Thursday 14th June as the board of the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) undertook inspections of CMA-assisted projects across the catchment.
Chair of the CMA Mrs Susan Hooke explained that these site inspections are essential in understanding the natural resource management issues affecting our catchment.
‘The CMA Board inspects CMA projects about four times a year with our last inspections taking place across Lake Macquarie,’ said Mrs Hooke. ‘Inspections provide a great opportunity to witness first hand some of the issues our community faces but also some of the great work being done to improve our natural resources and the environment.’
The day began with a tour and update of the Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project on Ash Island. The board saw the beautiful results of an integrated approach to revitalise a freshwater wetland which involved weed removal and replanting native species both around the water and in the nearby rainforest. A boardwalk across the wetland provides the community with access to the area, where Magpie Geese and other migratory birds can now be spotted because of the improved habitat.
The next stop was Hexham swamp, where recently the opened floodgates have led to an increase in estuarine wetland habitat used by juvenile prawns and fish species and migratory birds. The board were impressed by the abundance of estuarine vegetation that has re-established as a result of tidal flows inundating the area again. The board also noticed large numbers of black swans living in these reclaimed wetlands.
Further down the catchment at Islington Park enthusiastic students from Tighes Hills Primary School showed off their water testing skills through the CMA’s Waterwatch program while Hunter Water staff discussed results of their rehabilitation of Throsby Creek including rock revetment and revegetation.
The afternoon was spent inspecting works along Upper Ironbark Creek in New Lambton Heights and Elermore Vale. The CMA is working with private landholders living along the creek to improve stability along the creek banks, control weeds and re-establish native vegetation. Improving the health of Upper Iron Bark creek has positive impacts downstream including improved sediment control, decreased flood risk and increased water quality. The project is funded through the CMA’s partnership program with Newcastle City Council.