There is no doubt water is fundamental to the health and prosperity of our communities and essential to our lives.
As we look towards a future of increasing water scarcity due to growing populations, climate change, and new and emerging issues, our challenge is to do more with less water.
The way we manage water to protect the health of our waterways and catchments is also crucial.
In this issue agroforestry expert Rowan Reid shares his experiences of planting, growing and harvesting a multipurpose riparian farm forest on his property at Bambra in the Otway Ranges.
Rowan believes that a balance can be found between conservation plantings using indigenous species and production forestry that has a positive impact on riparian biodiversity and water quality.
Read about how the people of Birchip are reaping the benefits of increased biodiversity at Tchum Lake after the Mallee CMA received environmental water for selected wetlands from the Victorian Environmental Water Holder.
The newly watered lakes have formed a shallow wetland, attracting wading birds, frogs and turtles, as well as drawing visitors to Birchip from near and far.
"As we look towards a future of increasing water scarcity due to growing populations, climate change, and new and emerging issues, our challenge is to do more with less water."
We also hear from Friends of Land and Water Landcare, a group established by residents of the Warragul Lifestyle Village, with members’ ages ranging from 65 to 86 years.
The group cares for the creek that flows through the grounds, and has completed a revegetation project along one of the village boundaries. Their close encounter with the giant Gippsland earthworm is an interesting read.
This issue also includes stories on how biochar can improve the water-holding function of soil, a guide to identifying frogs, and a report on the North Central Regional Landcare Forum.
And congratulations to the 59 Landcare, and Friends groups and networks who secured a total of $495,586 in Community Skills Development Grants. The recipients will use their grants to undertake a wide range of learning, development and training opportunities to help build their capacity and skills.
Thank you to everyone doing extraordinary work to secure our water resources, and enhancing Victoria’s liveability for many generations to come.
Best wishes for 2018.
Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change
Minister for Suburban Development
Applications will open soon for grants to help Victorian communities protect biodiversity and restore and care for local species and habitat.
The Victorian Government will provide additional investment through the Biodiversity On-ground Action – 2018 Community & Volunteer Action Grants to enable the delivery of on-ground conservation projects on public and private land.
Grants will be available to support volunteer community-based environment groups and networks in their efforts to protect, enhance, and restore their local biodiversity and threatened species.
The opening of these grants will be communicated to groups and networks by Landcare support staff across Victoria.
For more information visit www.environment.vic.gov.au/grants/community-action