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River Rehabilitation Project Receives International Recognition

Rock chute in the Orara RiverNorth Coast Local Land Services' expertise in river rehabilitation and the organisation's role in meeting the challenges faced by our river systems have been showcased on the international stage. 

Shaun Morris, Senior Land Services Officer, recently presented at the REFORM International Conference on River and Stream Restoration "Novel Approaches to Assess and Rehabilitate Modified Rivers" held in the Netherlands.

The aim of the Conference was to enhance awareness of the benefits of river rehabilitation, to discuss challenges in improving understanding of the causes and consequences of hydromorphological degradation and to enhance river rehabilitation knowledge globally.

River Restoration is increasingly important in responding to the enormous challenges and demands on our waterways resulting from population growth and human impacts on environmental resource systems and landscapes.

Shaun Morris said of his attendance at the Conference, "By accessing the full range of international skills and knowledge on this subject North Coast Local Land Services will be able to evolve and improve our approaches to meet the challenges of managing our North Coast rivers and floodplains into the future."

He continued, "The subject of my presentation Management of a Meander Cutoff using Instream Works to Reduce the Hydraulic Gradient, focused on the outcomes of a project that has been undertaken over the last thirteen years on the Orara River and was very well received by international practitioners

"The aim of the project was to repair the damage caused by years of riparian vegetation loss, the loss of large woody debris and the results of gravel extraction via a staged multi-year approach"

"Solutions such as engineered log jams, suspended log sills and pin groynes were implemented to influence flow direction, hydraulic gradients, flow power, scour and deposition.

"The Orara River is not only home to twenty species of native freshwater fish and more than ten endemic crayfish species, it is also habitat for the Endangered Eastern Freshwater Cod so ensuring it is a healthy river environment is crucial for both biodiversity and function.

"Building relationships with international networks is the best way to build expertise in catchment planning" 

"There is interesting work being carried out in such a wide range of fields from new sampling techniques that can extract DNA from water samples to socio-economic survey techniques that can provide guidance on the best way to manage a range of impacts." Shaun concluded.

North Coast Local Land Services, with funding provided by the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme will continue to implement a range of projects that improve the health of our natural resources, landscapes and river systems.

Media contact:

Shaun Morris, Senior Land Services officer
Phone 6659 9402

Photo caption:

Final works – a completed rock chute at the entrance to the meander cutoff on the Orara River