The management of riparian zones is a primary concern to landholders in our coastal landscape. The most common landholder requests for information and assistance to our network and office relate to managing invasive weed species and restoring native vegetation in the riparian zone, bank stability and improving water quality through alternative stock watering systems. The health of these river systems is the key to connection across the landscape.
We successfully sought funds through the 2013/14 Australian Government Biodiversity Fund Round #2. Through this program we received $1,417,000 over 4 years (2013 - 2017) to work with landholders across 5 river catchments. The focus of the project works includes restoring riparian zone vegetation and stability, improving water quality, controlling new and emerging invasive species such as Camphor Laurel and Weeds of National Significance (WONS).
Additionally, we established a partnership with Port Macquarie Hastings Council to support their existing 'riparian vine weeds program' targeting the Weeds of National Significance - Madiera Vine and Cats Claw. Funding provided through this grant targeted 'post flood' control works.
We utilised our 'expression of interest' register to support the application and have subsequently run a series of Grant Rounds targeting specific catchments. Workshops held through this program have covered - 'biodiversity and bush regeneration techniques', 'tackling woody weeds' and 'building your farm plan'. We have brokered technical support for riparian erosion control works through the NSW Soil Conservation Service. An additional outcome has been the establishment of a base-line bird survey in 8 locations across the 4 river catchments.
Management of riparian zones is an important natural resource management issue on the NSW North Coast.
Working with landholders to develop Action Plans for strategic and prioritised management is important to achieve long term outcomes.
Incentive Grants are useful in stimulating interest and providing a catalyst for landholders to undertake on-ground works.
To facilitate erosion control works it is important to have access to Technical Support and experienced contractors.
We have mapped the projects using 'Google Earth Pro' and continue to work with landholders and look for additional resources to support similar initiatives. We are identifying 'gaps' along the river systems where we hope to engage with landholders to further the 'connectivity' of the works.