Catchment to Coast
What is the Catchment to Coast project?
The Catchment to Coast project seeks to improve water quality in the Cygnet River, arrest the decline and promote the regeneration of seagrass beds in Western Cove, and reduce soil erosion and fertiliser runoff, leading to production benefits. The project recognises the links between these actions and improving the health of marine ecosystems in Nepean Bay.
Why the Cygnet River catchment?
The catchment of the Cygnet River has been identified as a priority area in the Natural Resources Management Plan because it:
- retains 23% of its original native vegetation, including most of Kangaroo Island’s (KI) remnant river red gums
- provides habitat for glossy black-cockatoos, dunnarts, Southern brown bandicoots and nine of the island’s threatened plant species
- is KI’s largest watercourse, draining 14% of the island
- is an important and diverse agricultural region
- has KI’s only true delta, with extensive tidal channels, saltmarsh and mudflat that offer foraging grounds for shore birds
- boasts a Wetland of National Importance at the lower flood plain.
What is being done?
The project has developed a model of the Cygnet River catchment that predicts nutrient and sediment loads in its tributaries based on land use, soil type, elevation, rainfall and slope. The model identifies sites and priorities for on-ground works. A water monitoring program at critical sites in the will evaluate the effectiveness of the on-ground works.
Natural Resources KI Coast and Marine Program staff are monitoring the condition of seagrass beds in Western Cove and trialling seagrass revegetation techniques to hasten recovery.
Land owners; Recreational and commercial fishers; Community groups; Environmental Protection Authority; South Australian Research and Development Institute: Aquatic Sciences