Thanks to an extensive restoration project in the Emigrant Creek sub-catchment, the Richmond River Estuary has taken a big step towards a healthier future. Collaboration between North Coast Local Land Services, 34 landholders, and Ballina Shire Council has restored 38 kilometres of riparian habitat.
The project primarily worked with macadamia growers and graziers in the Alstonville plateau to rehabilitate the riparian areas on their properties.
North Coast Land Services Officer, Genevieve Maley said, bush regeneration works were carried out to restore the structure, function, and integrity of native vegetation to reduce surface runoff and limit the amount of sediment entering waterways during flooding events.
“Rehabilitating these areas will lead to increased ecological function, help mitigate pollutants entering the waterway and increase bank stability, while also increasing biodiversity, creating healthy wildlife corridors, and rehabilitating the Big Scrub Rainforest,” Ms Maley said.
With the support of landowners, on ground works, including bush regeneration and fencing of water sources to prevent stock access, has led to 38 kilometres and 70 hectares of rehabilitation works occurring since 2019.
General Manager Louise Orr, North Coast Local Land Service, said the project will improve the health of Emigrant Creek catchment by enhancing the ongoing management of both agricultural systems and their adjacent riparian vegetation which is often home to a range of threatened species.
“Better management of vegetation will lead to improved water quality that will have long lasting benefits to the Marine Estate and communities in the North Coast,” Ms Orr said.
These works form part of the North Coast Local Land Services NSW Government funded Marine Estate Management Strategy project to improve the health of the Richmond River Catchment.
A video showcasing this project can be viewed on the North Coast Local Land Services YouTube play list https://youtu.be/c5XSSq9fdsk