Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation 2020-2021 grants awarded and project summaries

In the 2020-2021 round, the Environmental Trust approved 31 grants totalling $4,403,097.

  • 9 Tier 1 projects totalling $904,666
  • 22 Tier 2 projects totalling $3,498,431
Organisation Project title Grant
Bega River and Wetlands Landcare Group Inc Stage 2 – Bega River Wetlands: riparian corridor enhancement and armouring for extreme events $110,905
Big Scrub Foundation (BSF) Science saving 2 endangered rainforest ecological communities $108,000
Bowning and Bookham Districts Landcare Group Inc Habitat Hops from Burrinjuck to Bango – Stages 4-6 $114,600
Hay Trees on Plains Landcare Group Restoring native species and rehabilitating ecosystems in the Hay Shire $112,139
Nature Glenelg Trust Minyumai wetland restoration project, adjacent to Bundjalung National Park $115,000
Threatened Species conservancy Harrow Wattle Recovery Program, Seeding the Future $114,999
Wellington Caves Dubbo Regional Council Bring back the bats $71,773
Western Landcare NSW Incorporated FWRRA Landscape Erosion Filters $107,250
Yass Urban Landcare Inc trading as Yass Landcare Inc Restoring the Riparian Corridor of the Yass River $50,000
  9 projects totalling $904,666

Bega River and Wetlands Landcare Group Inc

Stage 2 – Bega River Wetlands: riparian corridor enhancement and armouring for extreme events

$110,905

The project aims to protect and enhance habitat for threatened microbats and coastal floodplain wetland communities on 4.5 hectares of continuous riparian corridor along the Bega River floodplain. This significant stretch takes in the Bega/Brogo River confluence and associated floodplain wetlands, including the Bega River Anabranch and Spenco Lagoon. This Stage 2 project builds on previous regeneration works that sought to improve habitat value for these threatened microbats, the condition of the endangered ecological community and riverine armouring against extreme events. Project activities will engage community members, agencies, schools and landholders to build capacity in taking stewardship of their reach of the river.

Big Scrub Foundation (BSF)

Science saving 2 endangered rainforest ecological communities

$108,000

This project deals with 2 key issues affecting the survival of 2 endangered rainforest communities in the NSW North Coast Bioregion: climate change and lack of genetic diversity. The project will contribute to the development of a plantation to produce seed with optimal genetic diversity, including resilience to climate change, for large scale restoration plantings of these endangered rainforest communities being established in the Big Scrub region. The plantings will, in due course, generate the flow of fit genes across the landscape that will combat the inbreeding of key species in the remnants of these 99%-cleared endangered rainforest communities. The project utilises the latest DNA sequencing and genomic analysis technologies.

Bowning and Bookham Districts Landcare Group Inc

Habitat Hops from Burrinjuck to Bango – Stages 4–6

$114,600

Box-gum grassy woodland is an endangered ecological community in South East NSW. By planting 'habitat hops', Bowning and Bookham Districts Landcare is working to reconnect critical habitat between Burrinjuck/Murrumbidgee River and Bango Nature Reserve.

In earlier stages, 30 habitat hops covering more than 20 hectares of private land were revegetated, and our vision of connected habitat started becoming a reality.

In Stages 4–6, the revegetation work and monitoring will be combined with biodiversity and climate adaptation field days and local demonstration and education sites – continuing to grow local knowledge of how to improve the ecological, community and farm productivity together.

Hay Trees on Plains Landcare Group

Restoring native species and rehabilitating ecosystems in the Hay Shire

$112,139

Drought, overgrazing and uneducated choices have diminished native plant and bird species within the Hay landscape. The reinvigorated Landcare Group, with over 50 members, ranging from landholders to interested community members, are keen to address this environmental challenge. The strategy is to collect endemic native seed (shrubs and trees) and then propagate with the establishment of a nursery and demonstration site. These seeds and seedlings will be suitable for replanting/seeding landholder rehabilitation sites, travelling stock reserves, crown land and gardens. The nursery would be a place where the community can access training, knowledge and resources to successfully establish native vegetation thus rehabilitating native plant and bird species.

Nature Glenelg Trust

Minyumai wetland restoration project, adjacent to Bundjalung National Park

$115,000

An area now known as 'Setaria Flat' is a former wetland located within a large area of intact native vegetation within the Minyumai Indigenous Protected Area on the north coast, adjacent to Bundjalung National Park.

Historic attempts to artificially drain the wetland and establish introduced pasture for cattle grazing has left a legacy of weed invasion and loss of wetland habitat. Hydrological restoration, via backfilling of historic drains, appears feasible but further investigation, planning, monitoring and approvals are required before implementation.

These stages are proposed as part of this project, which will ultimately restore up to 100 hectares of wetland habitat, providing habitat for diverse wetland biota, including threatened species.

Threatened Species conservancy

Harrow Wattle Recovery Program, Seeding the Future

$114,999

Harrow wattle (Acacia acanthoclada subsp. acanthoclada) is an endangered shrub listed under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. Only 8 populations exist in the wild in New South Wales. The Threatened Species Conservancy will partner with the Traditional Owners and state government to establish a herbivore-protected population of harrow wattle on private land at Tapio Station, Wentworth. This project mitigates the effects of climate change on the species by boosting existing populations and creating a seed orchard for future translocations. Core activities: compile a Translocation Plan; install a 300 x 300 metre herbivore exclosure; establish a new population through direct seeding, community engagement and a knowledge transfer event.

Wellington Caves Dubbo Regional Council

Bring back the bats

$71,773

Bats are essential to the environment, and a better understanding will be gained by developing a centre of research at Wellington Caves. Wellington Caves is in a prime position to promote the positive role bats play in the environment to the public and improve their image. Tours of Cathedral cave mean the former habitat is no longer suitable.

  • A disused concrete water tank is to be repurposed as a human-made habitat for microbats.
  • Seed collection, propagation and planting of local trees to improve habitat on the reserve.
  • A transportable 'Bat Box' is to engage children and the public to be ambassadors at home.

Western Landcare NSW Incorporated

FWRRA Landscape Erosion Filters

$107,250

Installation of a variety of erosion filters at the gully head to slow the speed of rainwater runoff aims to reduce erosion and retain eroded topsoil. Seed collected from local on-farm seed nurseries will be spread along the filter lines to increase the number and variety of native plants that grow in puddles that collect on the uphill side of each filter, increasing the amount of vegetation, species diversity and other biodiversity that uses this habitat at the gully head.

Yass Urban Landcare Inc trading as Yass Landcare Inc

Restoring the Riparian Corridor of the Yass River

$50,000

This project will continue restoration of the riparian habitat along the Yass River by focusing on 2 kilometres of Yass River frontage and 500 metres of the tributary Manton's Creek. Restoration activities will include tree planting, woody weed removal and restriction of stock access. This will build on the significant work already done on the opposite bank of the Yass River, and up and downstream from the site, involving tree planting, willow removal and restriction of stock access. This work will protect and enhance the habitat for known populations of rakali and platypus.

Organisation Project title Grant
Barragal Landcare Group Inc Connecting Woodland Communities in Barragal Lagoon Catchment $126,106
Bellinger Landcare Inc Mylestom to Tuckers Rock Coastal Vegetation Corridor Regeneration $170,000
BirdLife Australia Southern NSW Birds on Farms Project $169,995
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (EaTS Team) Restoring the critically endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub ecological community $151,900
Federation University Australia Further arid woodland restoration on Nanya Station $165,376
Friends of the Koala Inc Extending wildlife corridor restoration works in partnership with rural landowners to create greater connectivity for koalas on Lismore’s Wilson River  floodplain Stage 2 $169,992
Goonengerry Landcare Group Restoration and Linkage of Wilsons and Coopers Creeks $167,710
Hornsby Shire Council Restoration of Blue Gum High Forest and Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest in Hornsby Shire $141,958
Hovells Creek Landcare Group Inc Hovells Creek erosion control project stage 2 $170,000
MidCoast Council Protecting and restoring riparian zones and freshwater refuge pools in the Manning catchment $169,340
Nature Conservation Council of NSW Barking owls in the Bungawalbin Catchment (BOBCat) $170,000
NSW Department of Primary Industries Restoration of the endangered cauliflower soft coral $124,294
NSW Department of Primary Industries Protecting the southern purple spotted gudgeon $149,614
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Restoring natural values of the Dunbogan Crowdy Bay habitat corridor $129,311
Petaurus Education Group Inc Burrumbuttock's squirrel glider LAMP project – maintaining momentum, monitoring and making the next leap $170,000
Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) Greener pastures: Co-restoration of Posidonia seagrass and White's seahorse in NSW estuaries $169,312
The Mulloon Institute Molonglo Catchment Rehydration Initiative $170,000
Tweed Landcare Inc Filling the Biodiversity Gaps connecting Tweed Coast to Border Ranges – Stage 7 $164,600
Western Local Land Services Erosion Control and Habitat Restoration for Grey Range thick-billed grasswren $168,960
Western Local Land Services Willandra Creek landholders protecting Sandhill Pine Woodland $154,100
Wilsons Creek Huonbrook Landcare Inc Upper Wilsons and Coopers Creek Catchments: Restoring Rainforest in Times of Change 2020 $155,863
Workways Australia T/A Envite Environment Bungawalbin Ecological Restoration after Bushfire $170,000
  22 projects totalling $3,498,431

Barragal Landcare Group Inc

Connecting Woodland Communities in Barragal Lagoon Catchment

$126,106

Previous projects conducted by Barragal Landcare Group on the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute have highlighted the need to utilise techniques independent of season and drought to control African olive and protect endangered plants. Volunteers need to work smarter using biological control to limit the spread of Opuntia species. Contractors will remove the last remaining 5 hectares of dense African olive to connect catchment woodland to Barragal Lagoon. Contractors will monitor areas protected by rabbit-proof fencing to identify emerging, rare and endangered plants. Barragal Landcare volunteers will spread cochineal insects to control both tiger and common prickly pear. Video-imaging will provide volunteers with 'virtual access' to ecological communities and restoration sites on the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute.

Bellinger Landcare Inc

Mylestom to Tuckers Rock Coastal Vegetation Corridor Regeneration

$170,000

Building upon work by the Mylestom Landcare in the south and Tuckers Rock Dunecare in the north, this project aims to improve the condition of the coastal vegetation corridor containing a number of endangered ecological communities such as Littoral Rainforest, Swamp Oak Forest, Swamp Sclerophyll Forest, as well as important grey-headed flying-fox forage. Local groups will be supported through the engagement of professional bush regenerators to undertake weeding and revegetation. Integral to the project is engagement of residents and visitors, including people living and staying in an adjacent residential van park. Engagement through a communication campaign, workshops and hands-on working bees will address impacts, highlight biodiversity and Aboriginal cultural values, and build community ownership of long term outcomes.

BirdLife Australia

Southern NSW Birds on Farms Project

$169,995

This Southern NSW Birds on Farms project will implement scientifically rigorous land management approaches to assist recovery of declining woodland birds in the Slopes2Summit region of southern NSW. In partnership with Holbrook Landcare Network, this project will support landholders to undertake targeted woodland restoration actions in priority landscapes, including stewardship agreements, grazing exclusion (fencing), facilitated natural regeneration and strategic revegetation.

This will build on investment already secured by BirdLife Australia through philanthropic support, which is being used to fund community engagement, citizen science bird monitoring and development of property management plans.

This work aligns with implementing management interventions outlined within the Temperate Woodland Birds Conservation Action Plan, supported by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (EaTS Team)

Restoring the critically endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub ecological community

$151,900

Delivery of conservation actions at priority Saving Our Species management sites for the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub ecological community. Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub is a critically endangered, high profile ecological community with a very limited distribution in eastern Sydney.

The project will target weed control and monitoring at 3 priority sites. Fire is an important driver in the ecological cycle of this vegetation community. The largest remnant at North Head has been recently burnt. This provides a unique opportunity to control weeds that will be stimulated from the soil seed bank. The project will develop the next stage of best practice guidelines around fire, seed collection and planting.

Federation University Australia

Further arid woodland restoration on Nanya Station

$165,376

Nanya Station, previously a pastoral property, and purchased by FedUni in 2003, has a perpetual conservation covenant. The project continues past efforts to restore arid woodlands, habitat for endangered plant and animal species across the property. This will be achieved through re-establishing pre-pastoral settlement total grazing pressure by grazer control, ground tank closure, assisting regeneration of perennial overstorey and understorey species through grazing exclosures, seed spread and revegetation. Actions will be relevant across the property. Specific target areas include 3 locations with woodlands degraded through proximity to ground tanks. Strategies will compensate for prospective impacts of climate change, reducing opportunities for natural regeneration resulting from reduced cool season rainfall and extended drought.

Friends of the Koala Inc

Extending wildlife corridor restoration works in partnership with rural landowners to create greater connectivity for koalas on Lismore's Wilson River floodplain Stage 2

$169,992

The project will strengthen partnerships with land managers, Landcare and local government and increase community capacity and while raising awareness, specifically target the rural sector. Professional bush regenerators will be engaged to restore the conservation values of riparian vegetation and expand and strengthen koala habitat, corridors and linkages. Vital riparian corridors will be restored on the left bank Wilson River floodplain between Wyrallah and TuckiTucki.

Koalas are at risk due to habitat fragmentation; 4 kilometres will be enhanced, and another 11 kilometres will be targeted through a landholder Expression of Interest process. Restoration work will serve to strengthen species migration pathways and create fauna refuges for other species, specifically flying-foxes, while re-establishing linear corridors that allow unrestricted movement.

Goonengerry Landcare Group

Restoration and Linkage of Wilsons and Coopers Creeks

$167,710

This project will continue Goonengerry Landcare's long-term environmental restoration and rehabilitation program, emphasising mitigation and adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Our purpose is to convert bushland dominated by lantana and camphor laurel to diverse Lowland Subtropical Rainforest, protect, enhance, expand mapped wildlife corridors, and improve in-stream water quality, thus creating habitat to support threatened species recovery. A key facet will be to build capacity build of the neighbouring community of Upper Coopers Creek, to help it create its own Landcare Group, assist landholders in understanding the key biodiversity values of their properties, recognising threats to these values and learn best practice management techniques.

Hornsby Shire Council

Restoration of Blue Gum High Forest and Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest in Hornsby Shire

$141,958

The project will accelerate the restoration of 21 urban bushland remnants of the highest conservation significance, through best-practice on-ground environmental management actions and community participation, capacity building and education. Hornsby Shire is a stronghold of some of the last 4% remaining of the Critically Endangered Blue Gum High Forest and Turpentine Ironbark ecological communities. This project will provide a significant boost to the core works that council delivers.

The council will collaborate with National Parks and Wildlife Service, private landowners, Bushcare groups and educational institutions (and others as show an interest) to increase bush regeneration by contractors, increase the number of Bushcare volunteers and deliver restoration on high priority non-council tenures.

Hovells Creek Landcare Group Inc

Hovells Creek erosion control project stage 2

$170,000

This collaborative Landcare/Local Land Services/Soil Conservation Service project is part of a long term strategy to address active gully erosion in watercourses on farms in the Hovells Creek/Lachlan River catchment and the consequent impacts of that erosion on threatened species and endangered ecological communities in the Lachlan River and riparian communities. Sediment from these gullies contributes to a 140-kilometre long sand slug in the Lachlan River at between 800 and 1200 tonnes per year. The impacts on endangered ecological communities, threatened species of fish, frogs, riparian vegetation and birds are severe. Repairing the gullies with earthworks and planting will greatly reduce these impacts and build on-farm resilience to climate change by retaining water and soil on site.

MidCoast Council

Protecting and restoring riparian zones and freshwater refuge pools in the Manning catchment

$169,340

Streams and their freshwater refuge pools play a key role in supporting biodiversity. In the Manning catchment, freshwater aquatic species include the Manning River helmeted turtle, spiny crayfish, and platypus.

This project seeks to protect and restore refuge pools and riparian zones in the Barnard River and Dingo Creek by remediating agricultural impacts and improving native vegetation.

Landholders will be recruited through agency networks. Activities will include assessing and prioritising refugia and on-ground riparian restoration (stock exclusion, bank stabilisation, bush regeneration, pest and weed control). Community engagement, including citizen science monitoring, will promote understanding and stewardship.

The restored network of refuge pools will enhance the resilience of aquatic fauna to climate change stressors.

Nature Conservation Council of NSW

Barking owls in the Bungawalbin Catchment (BOBCat)

$170,000

The North East NSW study area supports one of the largest populations of barking owls in southern Australia. Initial work by Nature Conservation Council within the Saving our Species funded Large Forest Owls Project has demonstrated how to proceed with long term conservation of owl habitat. The need in the next 3 years is to intensify management in select areas that have the best chance of rapidly stabilising owl species after the catastrophic fires of 2019. Nature Conservation Council will target barking owl (and prey species) high use areas to protect existing nesting habitat through a range of on-ground works on specific properties in the Bungawalbin Catchment of Northern NSW.

NSW Department of Primary Industries

Restoration of the endangered cauliflower soft coral

$124,294

This project aims to rehabilitate areas where the cauliflower soft coral (listed as an endangered species in New South Wales and under Commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) has declined through growing cuttings in aquaria and transplanting them back into the wild. The rehabilitation works will occur within the Port Stephens estuary, where the species has significantly declined over the past decade due to mooring installations, anchor damage and sand inundation. This project seeks to implement one of the key and high priorities of the Priority Action Statement for this species: 'Implement a rehabilitation program in areas where the cauliflower soft coral has significantly declined using transplanted soft corals to repopulate.'

NSW Department of Primary Industries

Protecting the southern purple spotted gudgeon

$149,614

NSW DPI-Fisheries identified a small section of a creek in Central West NSW containing endangered southern purple spotted gudgeon. To protect the fish and enhance the riparian and aquatic habitat, the project will fence both sides of approximately 1.8-kilometres of a creek with permanent water, undertake riparian weed control and replant with endemic native vegetation in Year 1. Monitoring will be undertaken in Years 1-3 to determine changes to the fish population. Media opportunities will promote the needs of small-bodied native fish to the broader public with a strong focus on engagement with landholders in other locations known to hold southern purple spotted gudgeon in the hope of duplicating the activities.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Restoring natural values of the Dunbogan Crowdy Bay habitat corridor

$129,311

Coastal ecosystems of the Dunbogan – Crowdy Bay National Park habitat corridor will be restored through control of invasive and difficult to control weed species, targeting 2 threatened ecological communities. The project focuses on weeds that have proliferated following an extended period of drought, such as exotic vines and scramblers, tobacco bush and other weeds listed as key threatening processes. Volunteer groups, bush regeneration contractors and the National Parks and Wildlife Service will systematically control weeds that have rapidly invaded or are in areas difficult to access with traditional spraying methods. This will build community capacity to maintain and extend restoration works in the future.

Petaurus Education Group Inc

Burrumbuttock's squirrel glider LAMP project – maintaining momentum, monitoring and making the next leap

$170,000

The squirrel glider LAMP project around Burrumbuttock in southern NSW is a leading example of how to work at the landscape level to address the threats to a threatened species to secure its long term survival. This next project phase aims to maintain broader momentum generated by creating more on-ground connections between fragmented habitat in the 10 kilometres radius around Burrumbuttock and building community capacity to undertake monitoring. The LAMP approach to threatened species recovery in a traditional farming community, showcases how long term projects can have the ability to be maintained with momentum and continuity plus build in checkpoints for future decision making for future project needs.

Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS)

Greener pastures: Co-restoration of Posidonia seagrass and White's seahorse in NSW estuaries

$169,312

This project builds on recent innovations in seahorse and seagrass restoration to provide a 'two-for-one' method to restore 2 threatened species: White's seahorse (Hippocampus whitei) and its seagrass habitat, Posidonia australis meadows. Working in 3 NSW estuaries where Posidonia is declining or endangered, local communities will be engaged to collect storm-detached Posidonia shoots for use in restoration. White's seahorse juvenile populations bred at the SeaLife Sydney Aquarium will be released onto biodegradable 'seahorse hotel' artificial habitats in restored meadows, which act as a temporary habitat while natural habitat becomes re-established. A science communication campaign will simultaneously promote the importance of seagrass habitats and the threats faced by endangered marine species.

The Mulloon Institute

Molonglo Catchment Rehydration Initiative

$170,000

The Molonglo River floodplain was once an intact valley floor with a discontinuous braided watercourse containing a complex of wet and dry grasslands, ponds and wetlands. Post-European settlement, it has been impacted through agriculture and mining. Building on the management recommendation report funded through the Saving our Species program, engagement with stakeholders, a scoping study and hydrological modelling, the project will repair an 11 kilometres stretch of the Molonglo River. The project will rehydrate and regenerate the adjacent 4000 hectares floodplain making it resilient to drought and climate change and re-establish habitat for the green and golden bell frog through in-stream and floodplain structures, rehabilitated wetlands, revegetation and regenerative land management.

Tweed Landcare Inc

Filling the Biodiversity Gaps connecting Tweed Coast to Border Ranges – Stage 7

$164,600

This is Stage 7 of the very successful Filling the Biodiversity Gaps connecting Tweed Coast to Border Ranges program, which aims to improve and protect high conservation value vegetation to connect, expand and maintain habitat for the Tweed's diverse plants and animals, including threatened species. Properties are selected based on location within a mapped corridor and/or links to national parks estate, presence of threatened species and endangered ecological communities and must have engaged and supportive landholders. Training and awareness activities increase landholders skills and broader community understanding of the importance of landscape connectivity. The project is delivered with the support of key partners, including Tweed Shire Council and the Biodiversity Conservation Trust.

Western Local Land Services

Erosion Control and Habitat Restoration for Grey Range thick-billed grasswren

$168,960

This project will implement on-ground erosion control works over approximately 840 hectares to improve the known habitat of the critically endangered Grey Range thick-billed grasswren (Amytornis modestus obscurior). This grasswren species is known to inhabit chenopod shrublands, specifically saltbush and bluebush species. Through this project, the Western Local Land Services will engage private landholders in the Packsaddle area and implement soil erosion works over a two year period to address the issue of habitat loss through erosion. These works will also aid in the rehydration of the landscape and natural regeneration of habitat. Monitoring of the grasswrens and the land systems will also be included in this project.

Western Local Land Services

Willandra Creek landholders protecting Sandhill Pine Woodland

$154,100

This project aims to protect and enhance the NSW Endangered Ecological Community known as Sandhill Pine Woodland. Landholders along the Willandra Creek in the Western Riverina will work with Western Local Land Services to regenerate this community by direct seeding constituent endemic species, controlling pest rabbits and weeds and managing stock grazing pressure. The project will also raise awareness about the uniqueness of this community and how we can protect it into the future.

Wilsons Creek Huonbrook Landcare Inc

Upper Wilsons and Coopers Creek Catchments: Restoring Rainforest in Times of Change 2020

$155,863

Located in the Byron Shire hinterland, North East NSW, we will continue our program of rainforest (an endangered ecological community) expansion and connection in the surrounds of Nightcap, Mount Jerusalem and Goonengerry national parks, while also enhancing river connections between the headwaters and the coast. Exotic species will be controlled, and 31.8 hectares of native forest regenerated and enriched with plantings. Following 2019 drought and bushfires, we aim for long-term rainforest persistence in the refugial environment of our project area through worksite selection, genetic management and fire hazard removal.

Community celebration of our biodiversity hotspot environment (more than 40 threatened species of flora and fauna) will feature the threatened and very charismatic Albert's lyrebird.

Workways Australia T/A Envite Environment

Bungawalbin Ecological Restoration after Bushfire

$170,000

The 2019-20 bushfires burnt through 98% of 12,250 hectares Bungwalbin group of 7 National Park reserves and extensive areas of surrounding land impacting habitat for threatened species and ecological communities. Systematic bush regeneration works over priority area (250ha) will contribute to the recovery of threatened species (12 flora and 59 fauna), endangered coastal floodplain forest and lowland rainforest threatened limiting decline and building resilience to climate change. Bandjalang Indigenous bush regenerators will be mentored by professional bush regeneration contractors to assist restoration of cultural and natural values. Bungawalbin Landcare Group and the community will be engaged in workshops and project events to build capacity to restore and manage natural areas in a changing climate.