South-East Catchment and Waterways Bushfire Recovery Plan
Project: The South-East Catchment and Waterways Recovery Plan guides ecological restoration activities for bushfire recovery.
The Bushfire-Affected Coastal Waterways Project implements the on-ground erosion remediation, revegetation and weed control works across our catchments and estuaries.
Timeframe: July 2020 to July 2023
Funding: NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE), under its Bushfire-Affected Coastal Waterways Program
Last updated: February 2023
Council is working to:
- prioritise high-risk sites for targeted ecological restoration activities to aid bushfire recovery
- carry out the ecological restoration activities.
Benefits to the community:
- help build environmental resilience to future hazards, including bushfires, floods and drought
- restore riparian vegetation along waterways and prevent erosion.
The 2019/2020 bushfires affected a diverse range of landscapes and ecosystems across the Eurobodalla, Shoalhaven and Bega local government areas (LGAs). Shortly after the fires, extensive flooding occurred, which washed sediment ash and debris into waterways and resulted in significant creek and riverbank erosion.
Eurobodalla, Shoalhaven and Bega councils engaged an independent consultant to prepare a Catchment and Waterways Bushfire Recovery Plan for south-east NSW. The objective of the plan is to prioritise high-risk sites for targeted ecological restoration activities to aid bushfire recovery and build environmental resilience.
Recommended recovery efforts focus on:
- stabilisation of banks and in-stream sediments utilising revegetation
- construction of fencing to assist recovery of vegetation along the creek and river banks
- management of weeds
- erosion control works.
- Contractors will carry out over one kilometre of erosion works on the Clyde and Tuross Rivers to help prevent sediment entering estuaries and the ocean.
- Contractors will carry out weed control on over 300ha of land.
March to May 2023
- Landholders will plant 5,000 native plants to further help restore riparian vegetation along waterways and prevent erosion.
- Local contractors carried out weed control across 1,400 hectares of riparian areas to help the vegetation recover.
- Alluvium Consulting Australia Pty Ltd completed the South-East Catchment and Waterways Bushfire Recovery Plan and provided a copy to Council.
- Council's monthly Estuary Monitoring Program was expanded to include parameters aimed at identifying impacts to fire-affected waterways. Council carried out further monitoring in consultation with DPE to assess aquatic ecosystem health in response to the 2019-2020 bushfires. The expanded program now includes six estuaries within the Eurobodalla LGA: Clyde River, Tomaga River, Moruya River, Tuross River, Coila Lake, and Wagonga Inlet.
- Council completed eight major erosion projects and six revegetation projects during 2020.
- Council began ecological restoration activities at various sites on Gulph Creek, Tuross River and Clyde River.
- Shoalhaven City Council engaged Alluvium Consulting Australia Pty Ltd on behalf of Shoalhaven City Council, Eurobodalla Shire Council and Bega Valley Shire Council to prepare a Catchment and Waterways Bushfire Recovery Plan for south-east NSW.
Read the plan
You can watch the presentations on the South-East Catchment and Waterways Fire Recovery Plan, which provide an overview of the project:
- YouTube: South-East Catchments and Waterways Bushfire Recovery Plan - final plan overview
- YouTube: NSW south coast councils bushfire-affected waterways projects - overview
- NSW Department of Planning and Environment: Bushfire restoration works along south coast waterways
For more information about the South-East Catchment and Waterways Bushfire Recovery Plan or the Bushfire Affected Coastal Waterways Project, contact Prue Haantjens, Natural Resource Management Project Officer on:
- T: 02 4474 1373
- E: Prue Haantjens