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Eurobodalla's wetlands in good shape to protect against natural disasters

World Wetlands Day, celebrated on 2 February, is an opportunity to highlight the value of wetlands across the Eurobodalla.

Many thousands of visitors and locals enjoy Eurobodalla’s coastal wetlands each year, which are hot spots for anglers, kayakers, swimmers, bushwalkers and birdwatchers - but Eurobodalla’s wetlands do much more than provide us with opportunities for fun and recreation.

Coastal wetlands such as mangroves, saltmarsh and swamp oak floodplain forest play an important role in protecting low-lying areas from the impact of extreme climatic events such as flooding, fire and drought.

Mangroves are a great example of this, with mangrove roots binding the shoreline together. Each kilometre of mangrove forest can reduce a storm surge by 50 centimetres.

The extent to which coastal wetlands can buffer against extreme events depends on the health of those wetlands and the actual intensity of the event. The good news is that wetlands in the Eurobodalla are in good shape to protect against the impacts of extreme climate events.

Over the past three years, South East Local Land Services has been working with local farmers, Eurobodalla Shire Council, Mogo Local Aboriginal Land Council and NSW National Parks to protect coastal wetlands.

In that time, $500,000 has been directed towards protecting coastal wetlands associated with some of the Eurobodalla’s most popular tourism attractions such as the Tomaga River, Cullendulla Nature Reserve, Tuross River, Wagonga Inlet and the Clyde River.

Kirsti Sampson, Senior Local Land Services Officer, said some of the works such as fencing to manage stock on private property and weed control works may not be easily seen by the community.

“Land managers have been on the front foot in protecting wetlands across the Eurobodalla," Kirsti said.

"Farmers recognise the importance of managing stock to ensure wetland communities are healthy and river banks are vegetated.

“South East Local Land Services has worked with local farmers and Eurobodalla Shire Council to revegetate and restore hundreds of hectares of wetlands across the Eurobodalla.

"Not only do these wetlands protect against the impacts of storms and drought but they also provide fish habitat and they store more carbon than tropical rainforests."

Over the next six months, large-scale erosion control works and revegetation will occur along the banks of the Moruya River.

These works aim to improve water quality in the river as well as increase habitat for fish and other native animals.

For more information on wetlands across the Eurobodalla contact Kirsti Sampson at South East Local Land Services on 02 4475 1000

ENDS                                                                                                          

Media contact: Sue-Anne Nicol 6491 7807, South East Local Land Services Far South Coast Local Area Manager