Partnership to protect Missabotti Creek
26 August 2015
North Coast Local Land Services' partnership with Nambucca Valley Landcare has achieved significant wins for the Missabotti Creek. The two organisations have been working on the delivery of the Missabotti Reach River Plan Implementation Project, delivering the first priority river works identified in the 2014 Missabotti Creek Reach Plan.
In addition to improving environmental conditions and the resilience of the river, the project is addressing threats to vital economic assets including the Nambucca Shire's municipal water supply and agricultural soil resources important to floodplain primary producers in the Missabotti Valley.
The project focuses on constructing new rock bed controls and repairing existing ones to strategically address river bed and bank erosion and has implemented selected riparian vegetation enhancement.
Plans are now in place for the entire length of Missabotti Creek and include 40 individual property plans.
Tim Ryan, Landcare Officer for Nambucca Valley Landcare said of the project, "There is an opportunity to help restore and assist the whole river, rather than fixing one part of it, by using a systematic approach.
"Until the bed degradation and bank collapse problem is addressed, other management strategies will be very difficult, if not impossible to implement" he continued.
The Missabotti Reach Project delivered channel stabilisation works at twelve sites on eight private properties which has protected eight hectares of river banks and their riparian vegetation. This work has also improved the stability of 3.4 kilometres of river bed, banks and riparian vegetation.
Hugo Maree, Land Services Officer for North Coast Local Land Services said, "The project has had setbacks due to two floods, one relatively benign and one very destructive flood in May 2015, however, the newly completed bed control structures responded well to flood flows showing suitability of materials and design."
The before and after photo from one project site shown demonstrates where a constructed rock bed control has stabilised mobile gravel beds to redefine the channel, and contain further river bed and bank erosion as a pre-requisite for supporting riparian vegetation regeneration.
Hugo continued, "Increased erosion as a result of river gravel extraction and native vegetation impacts over decades has led to large sediment loads in the river, changing river function and threatening all river resources.
"The visible improvement in the short time since this work is impressive."
Hugo concluded, "Nambucca Valley Landcare and North Coast Local Land Services will continue to seek opportunities to work with landholders to protect these assets and improve long term river health for stakeholders and the environment of the Nambucca Shire."
This project is supported by North Coast Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme and Catchment Action NSW.
Hugo Marree, Land Services Officer
Phone 6563 6707
Caption Image 1:
Channel instability in Missabotti Creek had destroyed aquatic conditions at this site due to extensive gravel deposition. The resulting altered flow regimes will certainly lead to increased erosion if left unchecked, further threatening productive river flat farmland, aquatic ecosystems and municipal water supply.
Caption Image 2:
Image 2 shows the same site six months later after bed control construction and channel adjustment during flood flow conditions. Note the rock bed control (centre of photo) is at the same location as the Image 1 photo-point.