Dreamtime at the Marshes
The northern Victorian community is invited to a special event to celebrate the achievements of a key environmental project, and recognise the contribution of local Traditional Owners to the works.
This month marks the end of the four-year Kerang Priority Wetlands project, run by the North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and funded by the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.
The Kerang Wetlands are a unique system of more than 100 wetlands with 23 lakes and swamps recognised under the Ramsar Convention for providing habitat to significant waterbird populations.
Protecting the wetlands has included targeting threatening pests including Weeds of National Significance, rabbits and foxes, which all undermine the ecological character of Ramsar sites.
The project also focuses on protecting previously identified and many newly located cultural heritage sites within the region.
One of the key Kerang Wetland sites is the Avoca Marshes, a series of three wetlands fed by the Avoca River.
Salty groundwater intrusion caused by historic irrigation practices, combined with the construction of an artificial sill to hold water during times of flood resulted in the death of thousands of red gum and eumong trees in the marshes.
“We have worked with Barapa Barapa Traditional Owners, wetland ecologist Damien Cook and Parks Victoria to reduce the impact of past practices that have had a negatively impacted on the system by planting 10,000 trees back into the wetlands,” North Central CMA Acting Project Manager Amy Russell said.
“With many of the dead trees now falling over, it is important that we establish new trees to support the amazing birds and fauna populations in and around the marshes.”
“We expect this to speed up the recovery of the marshes’ ecology, while at the same time providing employment opportunities on Country for local Traditional Owners.”
To celebrate the end of the project, the North Central CMA and Barapa Barapa Traditional Owners are hosting a Dreamtime at the Marshes event on Sunday 17 June.
Listen to Dreamtime stories, experience traditional dance and music, visit the revegetation site and enjoy the kid’s art activities, all for free, from 3pm to 7pm.
A bus will take people to the site from a designated car parking area. RSVP with any dietary requirements by Thursday 14 June by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 5448 7124.
This event is supported by the North Central CMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.