Council has received grant funding from the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust to stabilise five hundred meters (500m) of eroding river bank and rehabilitate a priority erosion site on the Kalang River.
The project site was identified as a priority for management in the ’Bellinger and Kalang River Estuaries Erosion Study 2010’. It was further prioritised by the opportunity to improve condition of a remnant of Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest, an Endangered Ecological Community, which is located at the western end of the site.
Council, in partnership with Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) and adjacent land owners plan to commence works by the end of July, weather permitting. The land owners are making financial commitments towards implementation and maintenance of this project.
The first two stages of construction will include rock revetment and rock and timber fillets. Rock revetment will place rocks at the toe and part-way up the slope of the bank to protect it against erosion. Fillets will be constructed parallel to the river bank, about one to two meters from the toe of the bank. The embayment area between the bank and the fillet becomes a ‘slack water environment’, which is protected against erosive forces and promotes the growth of mangrove seedlings.
All the timber for this project (root balls and tree trunks) was a by-product from the Pacific Highway upgrade clearing. This is a great example of best practice resource recovery enabled by effective industry and community engagement through OEH, Council and private land owners.
Bellingen Shire Mayor, Cr Dominic King said “We have seen these techniques succeeding in the Bellinger River at Mylestom and at several other river rehabilitation sites throughout the Shire. It is always exciting to see projects being undertaken knowing they will improve the health and condition of our rivers.”
When construction is completed, the next stages of this project include fencing the river bank to remove stock impacts, planting native trees and managing weeds.