Cudgen Lake is located on the North Coast of New South Wales to the north west of Bogangar and the west of Cabarita Beach. Cudgen Lake is part of a larger wetland complex which includes Cudgen Creek.
Cudgen Lake is a shallow (1-2m deep) perched tidal lagoon which is located within Cudgen Nature Reserve. Cudgen Lake drains into Cudgen Creek which meanders along a 9 km flow path to its ocean entrance at Kingscliff, (Owers and Turner 2008). Cudgen Creek and Cudgen Lake has a catchment of approximately 66 km, (Morris Consulting 2010).
The Cudgen Lake catchment supports a large range of flora and fauna communities. Notably, the wetland complex supports significant estuarine vegetation, which provides habitat for fish recruitment, migratory species and other aquatic fauna. Mangroves occupy 1390m2 of the estuary, seagrass 90m2 and coastal saltmarsh occupies 520m2.
Threaten species in the catchment include; Scented Acronychia (Acronychia littoralis), Velvet Laurel (Endiandra hayesii), Duroby (Syzygium moorei), Red Lilly Pilly (Syzygium hodgkinsoniae), Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus), Glossy Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami), Koala( Phascolarctos cinereus),Long-nosed Potoroo (Potorous tridactylus), Queensland Blossom Bat(Syconycteris australis), Wallum Froglet (Crinia tinnula), and the Wallum Sedge Frog (Litoria olongburensis)
There are a number of land-use practices that have occurred previously or are presently occurring around Cudgen Lake which is having an impact on the health of the lake and its catchment including. These activities include; residential developments, agricultural activities, commercial and recreation activities.
Currently the landscape of Cudgen Lake and its surrounding environments has been severely impacted upon by increases in urban development. The ecological health of many NSW coastal lakes and waterways is at serious risk as a result of increasing pressure from human activities particularly urban development, land use intensification and changes to natural lake opening regimes, (Stephens and Miller 2006).
Coastal 20 Rehabilitation Actions:
The planned rehabilitation works are occurring at two sites within the catchment; Clothiers Creek road and Cudgen Plateau.
Clothiers Creek Road
The Clothiers creek road site is located just west of Cabarita Beach. As the site was previously cleared for agricultural purposes it now has become infested with weeds species since agricultural activities have ceased. The site has shown little signs of natural regeneration and wildfires have seriously hindered the natural regeneration of the site.
WetlandCare Australian in partnership with the National Park and Wildlife Service and Friends of Cudgen Nature Reserve, plan to plant 4,000 native trees to assist in the natural revegetation of the site.
Cudgen Plateau is located in the western portion of the catchment and is a significant agricultural area due to its rich soil profile. Due to the topography and historical clearing of native vegetation at Cudgen Plateau, sedimentation during rainfall events is having a significant effect on Cudgen Creek.
Tweed Shire Council has been working closely with farmers on the Cudgen Plateau and has already undertaken the creation of revegetated swales throughout Cudgen Plateau to reduce sedimentation. WetlandCare Australia’s Coastal20 Wetlands Project in partnership with Tweed Shire Council and landholders will continue the revegetation of creek and drainage lines throughout Cudgen Plateau.
January/Febuary 2012 - Basline monitoring undertaken at sites.
Febuary/ March 2012 - National Parks and Wildlife Service began site preparation and intial weeds control at Clothiers Creek Road.
May 2102 - First Community Tree Planting Day held at Clothiers Creek Road. Read more here.
PHOTO: Weed control and site preparation already undertaken by National Parks and Wildlife Service at Clothiers Creek Road (Adam Gosling, WetlandCare Australia).
PHOTO: Revegetation of swales previously undertaken by Tweed Shire Council to reduce sedimentation at Cudgen Plateau (Adam Gosling, WetlandCare Australia).