Restoring rivers leading up to wet season

EARTHWORKS AND TREE PLANTING TO STRENGTHEN RIVER BANKS

13 OCTOBER 2020

Earthworks and tree-planting are giving a Mossman farmer “peace of mind” leading up to the wet season.

Carmen Henning-White and husband Trevor White found ravaged creek lines when they inspected their property after floods in early 2018, with chunks of creek bank torn away and large trees swept into the floodwaters.

“We’d had erosion on the farm before, through the creek, but nothing like that,’’ Ms Henning-White said. “We lost three to four metres off banks, it was all just gone.”

The Whites are one of five Mossman families whose properties are being worked on to stabilise creekbanks and improve their resilience to future rainfall events, thanks to Terrain NRM’s Mossman Integrated Catchment Repair Project funded through the Queensland Government’s Natural Resources Investment Program.

Terrain NRM’s Ruginia Duffy said two sites had been repaired on the White’s property. She said “rock toes” were built in the streambed, embankments were reshaped and trees, shrubs and grasses planted.

“With the rate and level of erosion, combining earthworks and revegetation is the way to hold these streambanks together for the long-term,” she said.

“The rock structures are designed to protect the bank while the trees establish.”

The Mossman Integrated Catchment Repair Project focuses on the Cassowary and Saltwater Creek catchments.

Ms Henning-White said 90m of streambank had been repaired and more than 1500 trees would be planted as part of the project.

“Lots of trees fell in two years ago and when the floodwaters came up against exposed creekbank they swirled, undercut and washed our land away,’’ she said.

“This work ticks the boxes for us. The earthworks fortify things and then the trees link it all. I’ve wanted to plant trees for a long time. When this opportunity came along it was our ‘boom’ moment. We’ve added to the plantings and we’re keeping planting.”

“We can see on the farm where we’ve got trees we don’t have the issues.”

The Mossman Integrated Catchment Repair Project is also reducing the amount of sediment flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.  To find out more about this project, visit our Mossman Integrated Catchment Repair Project page.

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