Happy World Wetlands day from the CMA!
This World Wetlands Day, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (CMA), is encouraging everyone to explore a local wetland and discover for themselves how valuable and special these ecosystems are for people and planet.
“Wetlands are truly remarkable, and we are lucky to live in a region with two world-renowned wetlands on our doorstep, that is Corner Inlet and Gippsland Lakes Ramsar site. There are also 11 wetlands of national importance, plus many smaller, local wetlands providing recreational and environmental benefits to the community.” says Martin Fuller, CEO of WGCMA.
World Wetlands Day, celebrated annually on 2 February, aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands. This year’s theme spotlights how wetlands and human life are interconnected and calls on each of us to value and steward our wetlands.
And this is exactly what Green Team students from St Pauls Anglican Grammar School did recently when they joined the CMA in releasing 70 adult Dwarf Galaxias fish into a wetland on Wades Creek in Traralgon.
“Dwarf Galaxias are native to West Gippsland’s rivers and are now Threatened in Victoria due to changes in land use, loss of natural wetlands, places to find refuge and changes in rivers such as regulation and pest species,” explained Dr Stephanie Suter, Environmental Water Officer for West Gippsland CMA.
The release took place at a constructed wetland that connects seasonally to Wades Creek and the broader Durt’Yowan (Latrobe River) catchment creating wildlife habitat and a place for people to enjoy and connect with nature.
Chris Lamin, who specialises in growing native fish at her Middle Creek Farm, donated the tiny adult fish. Green Team students avidly listened to Chris talk about her passion for native fish. Stephanie also inspired the budding conservationists by talking about the CMA’s role in caring for the wetlands and rivers the fish were being released into.
The CMA had planted trees at the site over previous years and a few wet years have seen the wetland flourish and connect with Wade Creek and the greater river system giving the dwarf fish the best chance for survival.
“CMAs across Victoria are working hard to improve conditions for fish – through river restoration and environmental water flows. It was great introducing the kids to an area they don’t usually visit to talk about the bigger picture of why fish need help and so do rivers and wetlands. The Green Team are the future generation and are going to be looking after these species in years to come.
The Dwarf Galaxias is listed as Threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. This means the numbers of Dwarf Galaxias are declining so it is very important that we do everything we can to help protect the creeks and waterways that they live in, and to create new places that they can live and breed in.
The CMA is also celebrating the day with a free, family friendly event at Nakunbalook Environmental and Cultural Education Centre in Sale from 5pm.
While the event is free, we ask you to register via our Try Booking link using the button below.