Sunday, 29 April 2012

Where there's a will...

The river and its valley would have been beautiful once but at the moment it's showing the damage caused by human habitation over the last 150 years. But there are steps being made to remedy the situation.

The Barham River is a small waterway running out of the Otway range behind Apollo Bay on Victoria's Great Ocean Road and, although there are plants and animals of State and National significance in its catchment, the problems are immense: nutrient runoff, erosion, fish barriers, stock access, weeds (including willow, blackberry and ragwort), intense recreational use, timber plantations, increasing algae due to lack of shade, septic soakage, fire, artificial opening of the sand-blocked estuary, unprotected banks etc etc. But the authorities are aware of all of this and more, and so are individuals in the local community and things are starting to change.

Today we noticed in one section close to Apollo Bay the willows are being removed  (leaving roots in situ in order to reduce erosion) and fences to exclude stock are being erected. Hurrah!

Before: the willow-infested river (courtesy Google Maps)

After: The willows have been removed and stacked ready to burn.

Update: This announcement last week is good news for the Barham River (as well as the Moorabool and the Barwon).
Barwon Water will contribute more than $300,000 to local Landcare groups over the next three years.The corporation has already provided more than $1 million to Landcare over the past decade.In the latest move, partnerships have been renewed with the Southern Otway Landcare Network (Barham River catchment) and Upper Barwon Landcare Network (Upper Barwon River catchments) while the Moorabool Catchment Landcare Group (Moorabool River catchments) will be supported for the first time.
Each group will receive $35,000 a year for three years.Barwon Water Chairman Dr Michael King said the Landcare partnership program had been successful in helping protect and enhance the region’s quality water resources by protecting, stabilising and revegetating riparian areas.

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