Taking to the skies to protect Corner Inlet
West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) is working with Parks Victoria to control the weed Spartina with targeted spraying in Corner Inlet this month. The important weed control works will include both on-ground and targeted helicopter spraying to protect the internationally renowned wetland. Also known as Rice Grass or Cordgrass, Spartina was introduced in the 1920s and has since become aggressively invasive, competing with indigenous plants, degrading waterbird and fish habitats and restricting waterways.
“Spartina infestation is a major threat to coastal environments,” said Martin Fuller, WGCMA’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Control of the weed has been undertaken for many years with very positive results. This follow up weed control is crucial to build on the success to date”.
“A helicopter with a snorkel attachment will be used to target the intertidal Spartina in Corner, Inlet, our strong partnership with Parks Victoria ensures land, estuary and coastal public lands are treated for Spartina”.
Mr Fuller explained that controlling Spartina helps improve natural estuary habitat for important fish populations, allows vital plant species such as saltmarsh, mangrove and seagrass to re-establish and improves the feeding and breeding sites for local birds and internationally significant migratory species. “This Spartina control program complements the work we’re doing with farmers and landowners in coastal areas to fence and revegetate, control erosion and protect saltmarsh,” concluded Mr Fuller.
This project is supported by West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.