“DON’T take our sticks”.
That’s the plea of the Tarwin Lower Landcare Group, which recently spent a morning establishing a pilot plot of mangrove seedlings at Doyles Road, Venus Bay.
Working with scientist Greg Parry from the Western Port Seagrass Partnership, the group secured mangrove seeds to bamboo stakes, which were then pushed firmly into the estuary bed.
This process – which has been used successfully in Grantville – is designed to enable the mangroves to re-establish and provide Andersons Inlet with much needed protection from erosion.
Local resident and conservationist Michael Buckley – who has been involved in several mangrove revegetation projects – described how rapidly the beach front has eroded over the past few years.
Greg explained how the increased erosion was caused by the loss of mangroves, which play a vital role in binding the estuary bed as well as providing food and shelter for bird and sea life.
There are many factors that contribute to the loss of mangroves including foot traffic, wash from jet skis and power boats, and upstream run-off containing fertilisers and sediment.
Tarwin Landcare Group, in conjunction with the community, will seek funding and support over the next year to address some of these issues and help re-establish mangroves in Andersons Inlet.
Previous mangrove vegetation attempts have been frustrated by unsuspecting beachgoers removing the sticks holding the seeds close to the estuary bed.
Tarwin Landcare Group asks that the bamboo stakes are left in place so the seeds are given the best opportunity to germinate and prevent beaches from washing into the sea.
For more information about the pilot project or the Tarwin Landcare Group, please contact president, Jillian Staton, on 0417 177 234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.