Almost a year ago, salty water spilled over from Lake Wellington flooding the Dowds Morass wetlands.
This sparked a project, funded by the Victorian State Government, to investigate the risks of salt water flooding the Gippsland Lakes’ fringing wetlands and how this should be managed.
According to West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority’s Environmental Waterways Project Officer, David Stork, the salty water negatively affects the Swamp Paperbark, which also impacts wildlife.
“The Swamp Paperbark is an important species in Dowds Morass and other wetlands,” explains Mr Stork.
“It is used by waterbirds as a feeding and breeding ground.
“Ongoing high salinity in the wetlands can cause the Swamp Paperbark to become stressed and even die.
“This is bad news for the birds and wildlife that call the wetlands home.”
This project will investigate options for how to reduce the impact of and reduce the occurrence of salt water entering Dowd Morass and other wetlands around the Gippsland Lakes.
“We expect that with sea level rise and the impacts of climate change, salt water flooding wetlands could happen more often,” continued Mr Stork.
“That’s why it is important to develop short and long term solutions.”
Mr Stork said the project would consist of two main parts – addressing the immediate issue at Dowd Morass and investigating options to reduce future impacts.
For more information about this project please visit www.loveourlakes.net.au