Wetland project soon



AN endangered saltmarsh wetland in Arrawarra will be protected and rehabilitated thanks to the efforts of the local community.

The project is a collaboration between the Solitary Islands Marine Park Authority, the Coffs Harbour Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Yarrawarra Aboriginal Corporation.

The rehabilitation work will be carried out by the land council and Work For The Dole groups.

Coffs Harbour City Council has provided $10,000 through its environmental levy.

"Saltmarsh is a very special type of wetland that occurs between mangroves and the land," the chairman of the council's planning, environment and development committee, Cr Rod McKelvey, said.

"It is recognised as an endangered ecological com- munity within NSW and its protection is of the utmost importance.

"The area of saltmarsh in question, which is on land belonging to the Coffs Harbour Local Aboriginal Land Council, has been used over the years by people driving four-wheeldrive vehicles and has become highly degraded.

"The aim of the project is to prevent vehicles gaining access and to revegetate the area.

"This project is the first saltmarsh rehabilitation project undertaken within the region and the results of the project will be watched closely.

"Any lessons learned here can be applied to the rehabilitation of other degraded saltmarsh habitats in the area as, unfortunately, there are many areas which have suffered similar degradation."



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