Oral Presentation 9th Australian Stream Management Conference 2018

Restoring Riparian Resilience in the Mary River catchment - an integrated catchment management approach (#21)

Brad Wedlock , Tanzi Smith , Eva Ford , Sarah Grimish

The Mary River catchment is home to a number of endemic, yet threatened aquatic species e.g. the Mary River Cod and Turtle.  Engaging riparian landholders in restoration work of their habitat is a critical aspect of stream management because the majority of riparian zones are privately owned in the Mary River catchment. This paper outlines the engagement strategies and lessons learned by the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee during implementation of a $2.4 million Australian Government funded Biodiversity Fund project, which engaged with 192 freehold riparian properties and 113 non-freehold properties over 5 years in on-ground riparian restoration activities within threatened aquatic species habitat. Through these activities, the project delivered 45.7km of riparian fencing, which protected 301 ha of riparian area, revegetated 70.8 ha, released 45,000 bio-controls into invasive riparian vine weeds, e.g. cat’s claw vine and managed 1063ha of invasive weed infestation. In a 9,600km2 catchment these are significant achievements for stream management, which would not have been possible without involvement of the larger number of individual landholders, and supporting groups e.g. Landcare, industry groups and local government. Strategies to engage successfully landholders were fundamental to the project. These strategies built on experience over the last 20 years of integrated catchment management in the Mary River catchment and evolved during the course of the project. This paper outlines the strategies adopted, assesses their effectiveness and identifies lessons learned that applicable to landholder engagement in riparian restoration in the Mary River catchment and beyond.

Download Full Paper