protected from erosion
In March 2022, the Hawkesbury Nepean catchment flooded widely and in July 2022, the Macdonald River rose to record levels. This caused significant damage to the historic town of St Albans and the river’s riparian vegetation.
Established eucalypts, more than 12 metres tall and 20 years old, were uprooted and the understorey and ground cover layers were largely wiped out. Any remaining vegetation was then buried by sand during the clean-up efforts.
This project addressed that damage by planting a selection of native pioneer species, including eucalypts, callistemons, sandpaper figs, and cheese trees. These have powerful root systems that will help the trees become established and play an important role in shoring up the riverbanks and protecting them from erosion.
Reducing the amount of soil that enters the waterway helps to improve the water quality and benefits native fish in the waterway, such as the Australian bass.
The larger trees have been accompanied in the groundcover layer by mat rush and flax lilies, with additional native species planted.
A community planting day, bringing together recreational fisher volunteers from OzFish Hawkesbury-Nepean Chapter and members of Hawkesbury-Nepean Landcare Network, was held to restore this section of the riverbank.