Spring Sampling for BRP Victorian Coastal Wetland Restoration Program
Last week, Sept 30 to Oct 03 the #VicWetlandRehab team headed to our Gippsland Lakes and Western Port rehabilitation sites to continue pre-restoration surveys. The team collected greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide and methane) flux measurements, soil cores for carbon stock analysis, and vegetation surveys.
In Gippsland, there are 3 sites being monitored. A natural healthy saltmarsh, a degraded saltmarsh with no restoration planned, and the saltmarsh site where rehabilitation works will take place in 2020. In Western Port, there are 4 sites being monitored that include a 12-year protected saltmarsh, 2-year protected saltmarsh, rehabilitation site that will be fenced in 2020, and a control grazed site.
In Gippsland the degraded saltmarsh sites were quite dry compared to when the team last was sampling in winter (check out the cracked mud in the photo below!). However in Western Port all the site were all quite damp due to the winter and spring rainfall.
The team is heading out to these sites every 3 months, to get an accurate measure on what is currently happening in the saltmarsh over the different seasons. Winter and spring surveys are now completed for these sites, and the team will head back down in early January to complete the summer survey.
The team is working with Greening Australia, Parks Victoria and three private land holders to complete the monitoring surveys and upcoming rehabilitation work. Birdlife Australia is completing the seasonal bird surveys, so stay tuned to see what species are being spotted at the different sites.