Werribee River Revegetation Project

Werribee River ford crossing revegetation site for Southern Rural Water

Aus Eco Solutions has undertaken an extensive revegetation project of approximately 2,600 plants along the Werribee River in the Winter of 2017. A civil engineering project required the reshaping of both low flow and high flow banks, causing extensive alteration of the existing landscape. The Werribee River is the home of many significant Victorian plants and animals, including the Critically Endangered Growling Grass Frog and the Spotted Galaxias. Due to the sensitivity of this project, it required careful consideration in deciding which plant species to use and where to position them. By carefully evaluating the new contours of the river, Southern Rural Water designated four plantation zones based on their respective riparian zones, with the aim of revegetating and re-establishing the ecosystem to its highest quality and ecological function.

The four plantation zones radiated out from directly within the stream, to the low flow and high flow banks. After the site was prepared by undertaking weed control, 846 rushes and sedges were directly planted into the stream and 564 sedges suited for the low flow zone were planted alongside the bank. The higher banks were planted with a variety of grasses, herbs, shrubs and trees with Hamilton Planters, with each of the shrub and tree seedlings installed with 600mm corflute tree guards and two hardwood stakes.

Ongoing maintenance and monitoring continued at this site ensured that a 100% survival rate of the seedlings occurs, by undertaking weed control visits and regular watering for 3 months. This successful revegetation project will help minimise the impacts of land erosion, increased nutrients and salinity, and loss of habitat for aquatic life occurring along the Werribee River.