Cleaning-up and revegetating our misunderstood saltmarsh
Saltmarshes are one of the Eyre Peninsula’s most valuable and environmentally sensitive ecosystems however their value is often greatly underestimated with some even using local saltmarsh as a rubbish dumping ground.
The Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board has been focusing on cleaning up and revegetating saltmarsh areas across the Eyre Peninsula this month, with an astonishing amount of rubbish and debris removed.
The work is happening as part of the Saltmarsh Threat Abatement and Recovery (STAR) Project, delivered by the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board. This project is funded by the Australian Government.
“While temperate coastal saltmarshes are listed as a nationally Threatened Ecological Community, their value is often under-estimated by the community,” says Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board Landscape Officer, Barbara Murphy.
“We did a clean-up at the Cowleds Landing Sanctuary Zone (Eight-Mile Creek) near Whyalla, with invaluable help from the local 4WD club and filled a large trailer and ute with all kinds of rubbish and debris.
“Rubbish collected included old tyres, pallets, steel, timber, bottle, cans and general litter. Some of the more unusual items found were a television, microwave, pedestal fan, camp oven, lots of shoes and thongs, a pair of underpants, and a vehicle licence plate!
“Saltmarshes are extremely valuable – they protect our shorelines, act as blue-carbon sinks, are important fish nurseries and bird habitat – their value as an ecosystem is right up there with rainforests, yet people still treat them badly.
“We ask the community to please respect our local saltmarsh areas and leave them as they are.”
President of the Whyalla and District 4WD Club, Wayne Dyer said the clean-up was a great opportunity for the club to get outside and enjoy the winter sunshine whilst cleaning up a special area of our coastline for everyone to enjoy.
Landscape officers have also been undertaking revegetation work at fragile saltmarsh sites including in the western Eyre Peninsula areas of Venus Bay, Acraman Creek and lower Eyre Peninsula areas of Farm Beach, Salt Creek and Kellidie Bay.
Previously samphire revegetation on the western EP has involved the ripping method. This time samphire tube stock has been trialled and planted on 25 hectares of degraded samphire in Venus Bay containing varying soil types and salinity levels. The revegetation work at Acraman Creek is also trialling areas of tube stock planted over 30 hectares with works assisted by Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation Rangers.
To find out more about the Saltmarsh Threat Abatement and Recovery Project, see the EP Landscape Board website at www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/Stewardship-priorities/Landscape-management/star-project.