The Living Murray Program (TLM) aims to protect and enhance six icon sites through targeted environmental watering. This watering can do great things for the biodiversity along the River Murray. When we talk about biodiversity, we are talking about the range or variety of living things, including plants and animals.
A butterfly rests on sea rocket. Photographer: Pamela Gillen
The icon sites themselves are significant areas of high biodiversity. For example, in the Barmah-Millewa forest, there are 381 plant species (of which 17 are threatened) and 221 animal species (of which 57 are threatened) that are native to the region. Continue reading
As you may know, the Living Murray Program (TLM) is a partnership between the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian, Australian Capital Territory and Commonwealth governments, and is coordinated by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the TLM Annual Environmental Watering Plan – what it is and what it’s for. If you want to read more about TLM, have a look at the TLM tag.
The TLM Annual Environmental Watering Plan was developed with the Environmental Watering Group, which is made up of representatives from the Basin state governments and the MDBA. The plan provides a decision making framework and outlines priority watering actions for TLM for the 2013-14 water year (that is, July 2013 to June 2014). The plan has been developed by looking at both last year’s environmental watering activities and the current conditions of the icon sites. Continue reading…
You’ll be in for a massive, historic surprise!
While helping to protect Aboriginal sites from construction work, cultural heritage monitors in the Koondrook–Perricoota Forest made an important discovery.
Diprotodon bone (Photo: Dan Hutton, Forestry Corporation of NSW)
Warren Stevens found a small piece of bone that did not look very special at first but, as it turned out, it was different to anything he had ever seen before. After investigating further, some larger fragments were found. These were sent to megafauna experts at Flinders University for identification. Keep reading to find out what it is…!
Gunbower Island Week is coming up…
Gunbower Island Week is on next week. To celebrate, the North Central Catchment Management Authority is developing a series of events to celebrate their partners and projects in Gunbower Forest (part of the Gunbower–Koondrook–Perricoota Forest icon site).
The Living Murray program – a partnership of the NSW, Victorian, South Australian, ACT and Australian governments, and coordinated by the Murray‑Darling Basin Authority – is funding major construction works in Gunbower Forest that will make it possible to deliver large volumes of environmental water to help restore the health of the forest. Goulburn‑Murray Water is building the structures that will allow environmental water to be delivered through the Torrumbarry Irrigation system.
Regular updates and photos of construction activities can be found on the North Central CMA’s website. Background information about the project and other major environmental construction projects along the Murray being managed by the Murray‑Darling Basin Authority can be found on The Living Murray’s website.
Gunbower Island Week takes place from 18-23 March and will include visits to the construction site, a science forum with a focus on fish, and activities for school groups.
For more information, contact the North Central CMA on 03 5448 7124 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just in time for World Wetlands Day (on Saturday 2 February), The Living Murray has released Watering the icon sites—a snapshot.
The publication reports on how much environmental water was delivered to the icon sites in the last water year. It also gives an overview of The Living Murray’s environmental watering program through the longest drought in recorded history followed by record rain in the southern Murray-Darling Basin.
On World Wetlands Day, The Living Murray will have a display booth at Goolwa, South Australia – close to the Lower Lakes, Coorong and Murray Mouth icon site. For more information, see the Department of Environment’s World Wetlands Day page.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally each year on 2 February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971. All of The Living Murray icon sites include Ramsar listed wetlands.
Interested in more publications from The Living Murray? Have a look at some recent ones, like the online version of The Living Murray Story and The Living Murray Annual Implementation Report.
‘You didn’t have to be a scientist to know the forest was dying, you could feel it.’
- Des Morgan (Yorta Yorta Nation)
To help restore the health of the Koondrook–Perricoota Forest, major engineering works, funded by The Living Murray program, are almost complete. A combination of regulators, levee bank and channels will enable environmental water to be delivered to the forests in a way that maximises environmental benefits, and enables delivery of water to the forests when needed.
The Koondrook–Perricoota Forest is the traditional country of the Barapa Barapa and Yorta Yorta people, who have lived there for thousands of years. Over 150 wetlands in the forest provided major seasonal natural resources so it is a site rich in Aboriginal culture and heritage.
Aboriginal people continue to have a strong spiritual and cultural connection to the forest and continue to use it for cultural purposes today.
To help protect the cultural sites during the major construction work a group representing the local Indigenous communities (the Joint Indigenous Group or JIG) was established to provide advice, recommendations and input to the project.
Images clockwise from top left: JIG logo (designed by Clive Atkinson) – The five eucalypt seed pods in the JIG logo represent the four original Indigenous member groups and Forests NSW, who coordinate the group; Des Morgan (Yorta Yorta) and Norman Moore (Barapa Barapa), who oversee the cultural heritage monitoring program (photo: Irene Dowdy © MDBA); Stone artefact – To date the team has discovered and protected 26 stone artefacts, 22 middens, 76 scar trees and 18 burial sites (photo: Dan Hutton, Forests NSW); Cultural heritage monitor team members Irene Vehekite and Lois Smith (Barapa Barapa) with Serita Jasper and Lowana Smith (Yorta Yorta) – The 28 cultural heritage monitors range in age from 16 to 76 (photo: Norman Moore).
The River Murray, a ‘working river’, is regulated with dams, weirs and barrages to help ensure a reliable source of water for communities along the river. These structures, however, have disrupted natural flooding patterns which the floodplains and wetlands along the river rely on. To help restore the balance, The Living Murray program is funding the construction of major water management structures that will help deliver water at several icon sites along the River.
One of these major construction projects is happening at Hattah Lakes, near Mildura. Hattah Lakes is one of The Living Murray’s six icon sites and contains 12 Ramsar-listed wetlands.
Construction of the Cantala regulator. The regulators are designed to not impede natural water movement along the creek lines, but can be closed for managed watering events. This regulator is 100 metres wide and will stand 5 metres tall. The sheet piles are not yet completed and the concrete works have just commenced.
Photo: Heather Peachey.
Helping to restore environmental values
The aim for the Hattah Lakes icon site is to preserve and, where possible, restore healthy examples of the original wetland and floodplain communities. The engineering works will provide regulators and levee banks, which will be used to deliver and hold water at the site. Read more about the major construction at Hattah Lakes…