The shire's water catchment may continue to suffer for years after ground was laid bare from the summer bushfires and flooding rains washed sediment in Eurobodalla Shire's creeks and rivers.
Eurobodalla Shire Council said its sustainability team was working to control water catchment inputs, including sediment, ash and organic material to help ensure water quality and protect our aquatic environments and aquaculture industry.
Immediately following the fires, the council said it worked with South East Local Land Services to undertake training sessions for landholders, Local Aboriginal Land Councils, Landcare groups and contractors on how best to control erosion. This included the installation of coir logs or fencing, sand bags, positioning logs and root balls and reshaping banks and sediment ponds.
The council said erosion was likely to continue for some years, and areas that were unlikely to regenerate quickly on their own were candidates for strategic planting to foreshore planting. Weed control would also play an import role into the future, helping to minimise competition with native species in vulnerable areas.
These actions would stabilise soil in water catchments by encouraging vegetative regrowth and slowing water flow. On top of environmental protections, the shire's drinking water supply, fisheries and oyster industries, and recreation and tourism industries would benefit, the council said.
To assist, the council said it has applied for funds from the NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment, Coastal and Estuary Grant Program for Bushfire Affected Coastal Waterways, and was working with neighbouring Shoalhaven and Bega Valley Shire Councils in a region-wide approach to waterway restoration. Both the council and the NSW Government have planned additional water quality sampling and installation of remote data collectors that automatically record changes in water quality, providing a better understanding of the impact of bushfire on coastal waterways and the effectiveness of our actions in targeted areas, the council said.
For more information on the Eurobodalla Shire's natural environment and the work the council is doing to protect it, visit https://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/living-in/natural-environment.