As lovers of the Gippsland Lakes, we know that wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else.
World Wetlands Day, celebrated every year on February 2, promotes global awareness about the importance of wetlands for humanity and the planet.
Martin Potts, Gippsland Project Manager with Greening Australia, said with many important wetlands in Victoria – it’s the perfect reason to celebrate.
“We’re extremely lucky to have wetlands of international significance right here in Gippsland,” said Mr Potts.
“On Friday, 2 February we’re inviting the community to celebrate World Wetlands Day at a wetland near the Avon River.
“On the day there will be boat tours down the Avon River showing the wetlands from the water.
“I’ll also be conducting tours of the wetland and explaining the works we did to help restore it. I’ll have the telescope out and we’ll try to spot some birds and hopefully the rare Green and Golden bell frog.
“We’ll also have experts from the Arthur Rylah Institute, BirdLife Australia, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and Trust for Nature on hand to answer questions and offer their insights into wetland health.”
Across the Gippsland Lakes there are over 30,000 ha of fringing wetlands. These wetlands are home to native wildlife and a feeding ground for migratory shorebirds.
“These wetlands provide a refuge for birds and wildlife during drier times,” explained Mr Potts, “and as the climate changes and conditions become drier, the drought safe havens within the wetlands will become even more important.”
Greening Australia, together with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation and East and West Gippsland catchment management authorities are working to protect and improve the condition of these wetlands.
The event will be held within the Clydebank Morass wetland complex, which covers over 2,000ha and extends west along the shore of Lake Wellington from the confluence of the Avon and Perry rivers. The wetland habitat, particularly the freshwater refuges that exist within them, support important life stages for a range of bird and wildlife species.
The event will run from 9.00am to 11.30am and will be held at 191 Springberg Lane, Perry Bridge.
Light refreshments provided. Please RSVP to Martin Potts at firstname.lastname@example.org
This project is funded by the Victorian State Government for the Gippsland Lakes