A new way of assessing the ecological condition of mangroves and saltmarsh in Corner Inlet-Nooramunga was recently trialled by local Landcare and West Gippsland Catchment Management staff.
Paul Boon, a wetland ecologist who developed the protocol, taught local staff how to implement the new technique over two days at various locations including Manns Beach and Gellions Run.
Samantha Monks, Yarram Yarram Landcare Project Officer, believes the protocol will enable consistency in the way mangroves and coastal saltmarsh are mapped and assessed across the region.
“The new protocol creates an extremely thorough measurement of a mangroves and coastal saltmarsh” Ms Monks said.
“Very basically, the protocol creates an inventory, an assessment of the ecological condition and threats, and on-going monitoring.”
“It will be useful to compare current assessments with assessments in subsequent years to track the advances or retreats in vegetation communities as well as mangrove encroachment and erosion fronts.”
The protocol will also be used as part of the Corner Inlet Connections program to assist in the prioritisation of on-ground works, as well as assist in determining if there is improvement in ecological condition of these areas following on-ground works through monitoring.
Ms Monks said the experience was an invaluable one.
“It was a great experience to be part of the protocol development process and to have one-on-one training in the field with an amazingly talented wetland ecologist” she said.
The development of an assessment protocol for ecological condition of mangroves and saltmarsh in Corner Inlet-Nooramunga was commissioned by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority as part of the Corner Inlet Connections program, through funding from the Australian Governments Landcare Programme.
For further information about the corner inlet program please visit www.wgcma.vic.gov.au