Community organisations and groups play an important role in contributing to a healthy Gippsland Lakes. Passionate and full of local knowledge, these groups have a history of completing projects and leveraging government investment by calling on their group members and volunteers for assistance.
The 2017 Gippsland Lakes Community Grants are part of the broader Gippsland Lakes program, funded by the Victorian State Government. Eleven projects has been funded in this round of grants. These projects are in line with the Gippsland Lakes Priorities Plan and the community grant guidelines.
Perry River protection project
This project will work with landholders in the Perry River catchment to protect, restore and enhance riparian land. On ground works will focus on the reducing nutrients and sediments entering the Gippsland Lakes. The project will work across several important tributaries of the Perry River. Including Fiddlers, Jones, Paisley, Sandy and Middle creek systems where strong landholder interest working with Landcare exists.
Harper’s Bight Inlet preservation and restoration
Fencing will restrict livestock access to Harper’s Bight Inlet and the Gippsland Lakes to protect important fringing wetland and saltmarsh habitat. These works will remove cattle access from around Harper’s Bight, improving water quality, preventing ongoing ground disturbance, and allowing native plants to re-establish, and fauna to recolonise the site.
Birds as indicators of healthy wetlands
This project will monitor the distribution and behaviour of waterbird and shorebird species in the Gippsland Lakes. Information collected will help to describe the health of wetlands and waterways necessary for successful survival and refuge of waterbirds. Data collected will help inform ongoing management of bird populations across the Lakes.
Reducing human disturbance on migratory and resident shorebird hotspots in the Gippsland Lakes
This project focusses on migratory waders and the impacts that human disturbance has on their ability to rebuild fat stores and improve body condition for their return flights to their breeding grounds. The ability of these migratory species to use the Gippsland Lakes effectively during their summer migration is critical to their survival and contributes to the environmental significance of the Gippsland Lakes.
Developing a waterbird breeding index to monitory management success of focal species in the Gippsland lakes
Understanding the breeding patterns of birds is an important element of helping ensure their long-term survival. A breeding index can be used to help understand the health of a bird population.
This project will develop a breeding index specifically for key waterbird species found in the Lakes, including tools for use in the field to gain a more consistent approach to monitoring. Through this monitoring, environmental managers can better understand current trends for key species, and evaluate the success of activities like predator control to protect bird populations.
Forge Creek erosion control
This project combats erosion in Forge Creek, a significant tributary of the Gippsland Lakes at Newlands Arm. A rock chute will be constructed to stop the erosion and complimentary revegetation work will be spread between; planting in stream, in the rock chute and along the riparian corridor.
Flynn Creek enhancement project
This project will involve the construction of stock exclusion fencing and revegetation works along sections of the lower to middle reaches of Flynns Creek. This will create a riparian buffer zone, which will filter nutrients and sediments from overland flows before entering the creek. As well as reducing sediment and nutrient levels in the Creek, and ultimately the Gippsland Lakes, the works will increase habitat for wildlife and improve connectivity between the Eastern Strzeleckis and the Latrobe River floodplain.
Marine Life in the Gippsland Lakes
This project will establish a photo data-base of all marine fish and invertebrates that are found during a series of 12 reef life surveys and 24 visual surveys over the next 12 months. A key aim for these dives will be to identify and map pest marine plants and animals that are encountered. Surveys will be targeted to look at seagrass beds and rock structures.
Nagle College rainforest project
Now in its fifth year, the Nagle College rainforest project is re-instating nationally threatened vegetation classes of Warm Temperate Rainforest and Gallery Rainforest on a riparian site at the school. Most seedlings are planted by the Eco Warrior students, who are Year 9 students, at the College. The site is large and located in both streamside areas and on a steep undulating aspect. Several thousand plants are growing successfully from previous years planting, and many thousand more seedlings will be planted.
Expansion of the Heyfield wetlands – stage 2
The second stage of the Heyfield wetlands expansion will increase the filtration capacity of the wetlands by building a new wetland, replanting indigenous aquatic plants and continuing to develop habitat and nesting sites for waterbirds. The Heyfield wetlands filter nutrients, sediment and toxins from the township of Heyfield including the saleyards and surrounding farmland before the water enters the Thomson River and the Gippsland Lakes.
Heart Morass swamp scrub and woodland restoration
This project will work to restore and enhance a 65 ha area of degraded swamp scrub and floodplain riparian woodland, building on a decade of activities undertaken as part of the Heart Morass Restoration Project. High threat weeds will be controlled within 60 ha of existing high-quality swamp scrub remnants and an additional five hectares of swamp scrub and floodplain riparian woodland habitat will be established directly adjacent to the tall marsh and aquatic herbland communities of the Heart Morass wetland.