McMinns Lagoon by Brian McWilliam

Conservation Volunteers Celebrates Wetland Achievements

Wetlands are one of the most important ecosystems on the planet, and Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) is working to protect and restore important wetlands around Australia through our Revive Our Wetlands program.

Three of our wetland projects have been profiled in the Australian Government’s annual publication Wetlands Australia, published each year on World Wetlands Day. World Wetlands Day fall on Friday the 2nd February and celebrates the signing of the international Convention on Wetlands in the Iranian city of Ramsar on this date in 1971. Australia was the first signatory to the convention and continues to play a leading role by conserving wetlands around the country.

From urban design to citizen science and fungi restoration, the stories published in Wetlands Australia cover three of the diverse wetland projects we are working on. Below are overviews of each article, the page numbers indicate what page of the publication they can be found on.

You can download the entire publication (PDF) on the Wetlands Australia webpage.

Revive Darwin’s Wetlands – engaging the community for sustainable management (page 8)
Nick Fewster, Regional Manager

Knuckey Lagoon and McMinns Lagoon in Greater Darwin are wildlife refuges that hold water long after the wet season has passed, providing habitat for native species including Magpie Geese, Little Curlews and the Long-necked Turtle. Both sites are listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia as part of the Darwin Peninsula Swamps. Issues include lack of management planning and resources, degradation via invasive weeds, litter and other impacts. Engaging the community in management is critical for their ongoing sustainability. CVA is partnering with Litchfield Council, Parks NT and local Landcare groups to build capacity for community-based conservation. CVA is coordinating a 12-month project providing education, training, citizen science surveys and on-ground volunteer action. Revive Darwin’s Wetlands will improve understanding, visitor-use and the health of these important local wetlands currently experiencing low and diminishing levels of community support. The photo at the top of this page is of  McMinns Lagoon, Darwin, taken by Brian McWilliam.

Using Water Smart Landscape design to capture stormwater for biodiversity (pages 9-10)
By Louise Duff, Program Manager -Wetlands, Catchments, Coasts.

Case study of a Water Smart Landscape Design project in the upstream catchment of the Hunter Estuary Wetlands Ramsar Site. The project was designed through a collaborative process as part of a Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) training program run by the University of Newcastle. It is the subject of a doctoral thesis. The project uses curvilinear patterning to create a series of cascading ponds that capture and store stormwater run-off from a sports-field. Earthworks were completed by the Soil Conservation Service. Conservation Volunteers Australia undertook the revegetation and maintenance. The site now filters pollutants, mitigates peak flows and creates a biodiverse habitat in the suburbs. The project was funded by the Australian Government as part of the Newcastle Wetland Connections project.

Gladstone Myco Restoration project – an innovative approach to community engagement (pages 46-47)
Linda Fahle, Regional Manager

Myco Restoration is a technique that cultivates fungi to accelerate the decomposition process and create healthy soil ecosystems. Myco Restoration can assist with mitigation of soil erosion on banks, slopes and disturbed sites. CVA led a community engagement project using this technique in a riparian setting in Gladstone, QLD. The goal was to trial a new approach to preventing erosion and sediment run off entering Gladstone Harbour and the Great Barrier Reef. CVA’s Myco Restoration project was supported by the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership. It attracted strong interest and became an effective tool for community education and engagement.