Grant from Communities for nature. $39,700
2014 - 2015
Eradication of weed species
Planting of indigenous vegetation
Protect the primary water source for the township of Seaspray
This project will eradicate high threat weed species in priority locations to enable regeneration of desirable riparian species to establish along 20 km of the Merriman Creek. Merriman Creek is the primary water source for the township of Seaspray. The creek flows into an ecologically productive estuary system at Seaspray. The estuary opens periodically to connect with the adjoining Ninety Mile Beach Marine National Park.
The project will spray out weeds along Merriman Creek and then undertake revegetation activities to supplement natural regeneration. The creek has previously been fenced off to exclude cattle. The long term benefits of the project will include a reduction in exposed creek banks and associated erosion and improved water quality for consumers and riparian biodiversity . Community workshops and participation in revegetation activities will give the community ownership of their waterway.
The targeted weeds shall include in the main Gorse, Blackberry, Willow, Box Thorn and Blue Periwinkle.
Water quality assessment will be undertaken during the project to assess the success of the project.
The project will involve adjacent landholders who have or will fence of the riparian area to allow revegetation without ingress of stock. A weed identification programme shall be held to assist landholders in the identification and eradication of weeds from adjacent land.
On July 29 we were blessed with perfect weather for our tree planting day near Seaspray. We were assisted by; Gippsland Water staff, Seaspray Primary School students, G.J. Gardner Homes staff and Landcare group members. Together we planted over 700 plants along a section of Merriman Creek – all before lunch! We then enjoyed a barbecue lunch socialising in the warm winter sun.
To further understand the links between catchment health and drinking water quality, members of the Merriman Creek Landcare Group visited the Seaspray Water Treatment Plant in late February as guests of Gippsland Water. Questions from the group were plentiful and varied and the group was able to learn more about the process of cleaning and storing drinking water and the business of their local water authority. “Sometimes we don’t connect the water that flows through our taps with the water that runs through our properties. is the primary water source for the township of Seaspray and the work carried out by the Merriman Creek Landcare Group will not only increase the biodiversity of the target area, it will also benefit the water supply..” said Fiona Pfeil, Catchment Scientific Officer with Gippsland Water.
The Merriman Creek Landcare group have teamed up with a number of organisations and local community members to ensure activities extend beyond the immediate watercourse. Gippsland Water and students from Seaspray Primary School will undertake water sampling and monitoring and revegetation works. Wellington Shire has committed to focussing some of their annual weed control efforts on shire roadside areas adjacent to the creek.