Coochiemudlo community caring for wetlands and each other

Coochiemudlo Island Coastcare volunteers

Earlier this month we celebrated World Wetland Day and the 50th anniversary of the signing of an international agreement aimed at conserving and protecting wetlands all over the world.

Located closer to home is the internationally recognised Moreton Bay Ramsar site. This is one of Australia’s iconic wetland sites and supports more than 50,000 wetland birds and provides habitat for more than 750 species of fish.

The Moreton Bay Ramsar site is home to the Coochiemudlo Island Melaleuca Wetland.

The Melaleuca Wetland has high cultural and ecological values and is home to over 170 recorded native plant species, making it an important freshwater wetland within the Moreton Bay Ramsar Site.

In 2013 a storm surge from ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald wiped out over a kilometre of shoreline, exposing the Coochiemudlo Island Melaleuca Wetland, uprooting trees, destroying infrastructure and threatening the Island’s economy.

Eight years after the devastating storm surge, the Coochiemudlo Island community is reflecting on the value of the island’s wetland, the vital ecosystem services they provide, and how caring for the wetland has brought them closer together.

Wetlands provide clean water, protect our shores, reduce the impacts of floods and improve water quality.

Due to coastal development pressures, Melaleuca Wetlands have been diminished in South East Queensland, making the preservation of this wetland even more important.

Weeds are one of the main threats to the wetland and include asparagus fern, cassia, cocos palms, pepper and umbrella trees as well as Singapore Daisy.

In 2020, Coochiemudlo Island Coastcare, supported by Healthy Land and Water and Redland City Council, launched a project to restore habitat in and around the Melaleuca Wetlands.

The program aims to reduce weeds at key locations across the wetland which will enable native vegetation to re-establish in its place and improve the integrity of the Melaleuca Wetland ecosystem.

 

Volunteers at the Coochiemudlo Island Coastcare working bee 

 

On February 6, in belated celebration of World Wetlands Day, Coochiemudlo Island Coastcare hosted their first working bee of 2021.

18 Coastcarers participated in the working bee, which covered over a hectare of Coochiemudlo Island’s Melaleuca Wetlands.

Volunteers experimented with different tools, including tree poppers which made removal of ochna very easy.

Coochiemudlo Island Coastcare’s team of dedicated volunteers has been caring for the Island’s environment since 2013 and is always welcoming new members.

Please contact Graeme on 0413 352 511 if you are interested in being involved.

 

This project is supported by Healthy Land and Water, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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