Bonville Creek estuary catchment system represents both visually intact and aesthetically pleasing tributaries in rural residential area of Coffs Harbour LGA. It provides the catalyst of a healthy estuary system feeding popular recreational use downstream. Swimming, recreational fishing and boating are the major pursuits undertaken within the estuary. Sections of the upper catchment are in poor condition especially along the creek bank which adversely impacts estuary condition including the increase in weed species which readily outcompetes native trees for space, soil nutrients, moisture & sunlight.
Local environmental restoration organisation Envite have been working with landholders to improve the riparian condition and help private landowners manage riparian areas on their property. The landholders are all committed to conservation and ecological restoration. Each of the properties have been accessed under the Land for Wildlife program by a restoration ecologist and provided with a property assessment plan outlining recommendations for property management. Professional bush regenerators have utilised these plans, worked with landholders to use best practice weed control techniques to firstly undertake weed control activities and secondly revegetate riparian areas.
Revegetation of 700 trees has also been carried out, Envite Supervisor Jason Page states” Locally sourced native tube stock is planted to establish native plants along the riverbank. Planting will contribute to stable stream bank, erosion reduction, improved water quality and health and connectivity of riparian corridors.” He continues “Primary Koala food trees have also been included in the planting providing food for our precious Koalas and other native mammals and birds for many years to come.”
The Bonville catchment all lie within a regional corridor which links to National Parks and State Forest. Mick Webb co-ordinates the project states there is support from the community for continued works “This is the beginning of a longer-term strategy that will grow and radiate outward, permanently reducing weeds especially Camphor Laurel in the remnant forests of Bonville and bring back Koalas by replacing weeds with primary Koala food trees.”
This project is an initiative delivered by Coffs Harbour City Council, as part of the Environmental Levy Grants Program