Planting sites for restoring the aquatic plant Ruppia

This page describes where Ruppia is being planted. See Ruppia seed collection site to find out where the seeds come from.

The Ruppia Translocation Project

The native aquatic plant Ruppia tuberosa is being re-established in several parts of the Coorong South Lagoon following its decline during the 2006–10 drought.

Ruppia is very important to the Coorong ecosystem. The plants provide food and shelter for invertebrates, fish (particularly the small-mouthed hardyhead) and other animals, and waterbirds (including migratory shorebirds) eat its leaves and seeds.  

What progress has been made?

Since the Ruppia Translocation Project began in early 2013, 20 hectares of mudflat have been treated in preparation for planting. There were several sites treated on the eastern side of the Coorong South Lagoon, including at Woods Well and Policeman’s Point.

Find out what’s happening at the Ruppia seed collection site Lake Cantara; the page includes a great video about the Ruppia Translocation Project.


When water levels were low enough to expose the mudflats around the edge of the Coorong South Lagoon, staff from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) were able to plant the seeds at selected sites in the area between Woods Point and Salt Creek.

Because Ruppia grows best at depths of 30 to 90 cm, the sites were chosen based on anticipated water levels there.

Planting involved lightly agitating the mudflat surface, scattering the seed sediment from Lake Cantara, and then pressing it into the soil. In deeper sections of mudflats covered with shallow water at planting time, the seed sediment was scattered directly into the water.


DEWNR is monitoring several sites in the Coorong South Lagoon to assess the success of the planting program.

As part of a wider the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s The Living Murray, DEWNR will also monitor Ruppia’s response to increased water flows.

Over time, monitoring increases our knowledge, which strengthens River Murray management regimes, including environmental watering.

Visit DEWNR's monitoring overview to see the current and past reports about the monitoring of Ruppia and other environmental indicators.

What's happening now?

An additional 40 hectares of sites along the same stretch of the Coorong is being treated in 2014 in preparation for planting.

Related links

Lead agency

Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources


University of Adelaide, South Australian Research and Development Institute, Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority, Friends of the Coorong National Park

Funding partners

The Coorong and Lower Lakes Vegetation Program is a partnership between the Australian and South Australian Governments, local community groups and the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority.

Australian Government logo  SA state government logo 


More information

  • Coorong & Lower Lakes Recovery team
    Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources; Reply Paid 1047; Adelaide SA 5001
    (08) 8204 1910