WetlandCare Australia -Projects Archive
Banrock Station Oyster Channel Project - Estuary to Thrive: rehabilitation through partnerships
WetlandCare Australia has facilitated and undertaken approximately 90 ha of wetland restoration in the Clarence River estuary, near Yamba in northern NSW. Banrock Station generously provided $50,000 sponsorship, and this was used to leverage additional funding from a range of government and other partners. As a result, landowners have been assisted to reinstate former saltmarsh, mangrove, floodplain and estuarine wetlands of the Oyster Channel area including improving their connectivity with the Clarence River. Birrigan Gargle Local Aboriginal Land Council received funding for 34 ha of bush regeneration, through staged weed control, in the significant saltmarsh and swamp oak Endangered Ecological Community and floodplain forest. These works will benefit an area of approximately 34 ha of ecologically and culturally significant wetland communities.
The NSW Department of Lands has controlled access to an estimated 34 ha of significant wetland ecosystem. Installing rock bollards and a locked gate has prevented unauthorised vehicles from entering the wetland, spreading weeds and degrading the area. Works by other landowners at Oyster Channel involved the reconstruction and revegetation of an exposed acid sulphate affected levee protecting approximately 3 ha of freshwater and estuarine wetland. Riparian revegetation to minimise river bank erosion was also undertaken on about 0.3ha of Romiaka Island, adjoining Oyster Channel.
A traditional floodgate has been replaced with a tidal-operated floodgate on Micalo Island. This will provide daily tidal exchange and improve fish passage to the eastern Micalo Island saltmarsh and drainage system and improve 20 ha of estuarine wetland communities.
Funding from other sources was obtained to prevent further vehicle access to saltmarsh areas, and to design and construct a culvert at Shallow Channel causeway, to vastly improve water quality and fish passage. As a result, the nationally significant Clarence estuary, including the Oyster Channel wetlands, have been improved and protected, and are now more resilient for the future. The success of these approaches will also act to facilitate future funding and on-ground environmental actions in the Clarence estuary.