Turning the tide on riverbank erosion

Published on 05 March 2019

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The erosion of riverbank can have negative consequences for fishing, water quality and the environment, but a number of restoration projects on the Wallamba and Manning River foreshores will help to reverse the trend.

Over the last two years, MidCoast Council has worked in partnership with local landholders, rehabilitating two kilometres of eroding riverbank on the Manning River and around 840 metres on the Wallamba River. The projects have involved the construction of rock fillets, the erection of fencing to exclude cattle from the riverbank, the removal of weeds and the replanting of thousands of native riparian species. 

"Rock fillets are effective at protecting the riverbank from wave action which causes erosion," says Council's Acting Manager Natural Systems, Tanya Cross.

"The fillets work by trapping sediment and allowing mangroves to recolonise the riverbank, which helps to stabilise the soil, improve water quality and provides important nursery grounds for juvenile fish and crustaceans.  As the native vegetation establishes, it provides habitat for ground and tree dwelling mammals, while enhancing roosting and feeding habitat for birds of prey such as the threatened White-bellied Sea-Eagle and the Eastern Osprey.”

All projects have been made possible with funding assistance provided by the State Government through the Recreational Fishing Trust’s Fish Habitat Action Grants and the Estuary Management Program, which was matched with funding from Council’s Environmental Levy, along with cash and in-kind contributions from the affected landholders 

"These sites have been high priorities for Council in its plans to protect and rehabilitate the Manning and Wallamba Rivers and we're pleased to have been able to deliver these projects for the benefit of both the community and the environment."

And the good work is set to continue on the Manning River with Council recently receiving another $40,000 in funding through the Fish Habitat Action Grants to restore an additional 400 metres of severely eroding riverbank at Dumaresq Island near Cundletown.