Aquatic Weeds of National Significance on the mid north coast
With the warmer weather comes optimum growing conditions for aquatic weeds which can quickly take over our dams, waterways and wetlands. WetlandCare Australia is targeting some of the highest priority aquatic weeds, referred to as Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) across the mid north coast. Works are focused on identifying, managing and increasing community awareness of significant infestations with a particular focus on Salvinia molesta.
Salvinia is highly invasive and can spread to completely cover waterways, reducing light availability, depleting dissolved oxygen levels and smothering existing vegetation. Salvinia is considered one of Australia’s worst aquatic weeds. The effects of aquatic weed infestations consequently impact ecosystem health, biodiversity, water quality and related ecosystem services; agricultural industries and productivity; commercial and recreational fishing industries; and, social activities including boating, swimming and other recreational water sports.
Activities undertaken by WetlandCare Australia will centre on increasing community understanding and knowledge of the potential impacts of Salvinia - not only small infestations in farm dams but also in larger water bodies. Building the community’s capacity to identify Salvinia and other problematic aquatic weed species and to act quickly to report and control new infestations will be a key component. Enhancing knowledge and skills of community members and landholders, who are often the first to identify changes in and around their properties or on local work sites, is a critical step in implementing better management of aquatic weeds.
WetlandCare Australia is working under the Aquatic WoNS Regional Partnership Project supported by the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority. The project is part of the state-wide Caring for Our Coast project funded through the Australian Government’s Caring For Our Country program. The project will deliver outcomes in partnership with government and non-government stakeholders including local council and landcare groups.
PHOTO: Salvinia molesta in tertiary growth stage (By: Cassie Price, WetlandCare Australia)
PHOTO: Salvinia infestation at Gumma Gumma Wetland, Nambucca NSW.
PHOTO: WetlandCare Australia team, in the field with Council staff, working together towards better management of aquatic weeds.