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Fish kill highlights the need for Collombatti-Clybucca Floodplain Restoration

Macleay FishkillThe Australia day fish kill in the Macleay catchment highlights the need to restore one the most significant coastal backswamps in New South Wales. 

North Coast Local Land Services are currently working with a core group of key NSW government agencies, Kempsey Shire Council and the University of New South Wales to address a chronic floodplain issue on the Collombatti-Clybucca Floodplain.

The importance of the work being undertaken was recently brought into sharp focus with a significant fish kill around the heavy rainfall experienced over the end of January period.

Although remediation of this area has been previously attempted at a 'paddock scale', the site remains acidified and continues to discharge poor quality water into the Macleay River estuary. A report developed by the University of New South Wales outlines the significant impact that drainage of the Collombatti-Clybucca floodplain has had on the local wetlands and wider Macleay River estuary and presents a strategy to remediate the site.

Currently, poor water quality from the Collombatti- Clybucca floodplain alone (not considering the other two major backswamps on the Macleay – 'Swan Pool' and 'Belmore Swamp') impacts over 50 km of the lower Macleay River estuary during discharge events.

The remediation option focuses on changing current land use practices to achieve large-scale remediation and habitat generation. The remediation strategy presents an opportunity to restore one the most significant coastal backswamps in NSW to the vibrant wetland it once was. 

North Coast Local Land Services has also developed a Clybucca Working Group, consisting of many community group representatives that will be engaged with this project as it gains momentum.

To read the technical background to the event click here (PDF 25KB)
To view more images of the event click here (PDF 489 KB)

Media Contact:                      Max Osborne, Senior Land Services Officer, 02 6563 6710