Community grants to regenerate local environments

Environment Minister Robyn Parker today announced more than $4 million in new grants have been awarded to 49 projects across the state to empower communities to restore and rehabilitate their local environments.

Wavy marshwort (Nymphoides crenata), Macquarie Marshes

The iconic Macquarie Marshes is about 100 kilometres north of Warren and is one of the largest remaining inland semi-permanent wetlands in south-eastern Australia.

OEH Community Engagement Officer, Andy McQuie said residents at aged care facilities along the Macquarie River will receive a special presentation on the Marshes in the comfort of their own home.

“It is important we engage with the whole community and celebrate the uses, values and place in our local identity that the Macquarie River and the Marshes provide,” Mr McQuie said.

“Given it is too hot to take people to wetlands this time of year, this is a great opportunity to talk to senior residents, who have probably seen many floods and droughts in their time, but may no longer be able to see the spectacular results first hand.

“The idea is to bring the wetlands to people by running a series of talks highlighting the success of the Marshes flooding and engaging this part of the community with the work that we do,” he said.

OEH Wetlands Conservation Officer, Tim Hosking said rain during winter and the Environmental Water releases from Burrendong Dam, resulted in a boom in wildlife breeding at the Marshes not seen in the area since 2010.

“We’ve seen Straw-necked Ibis build an estimated 30,000 nests across a few sites in the Marshes and the area is also teeming with ducks, cormorants, magpie geese, egrets and herons,” Mr Hosking said.

“Native frogs such as the Barking Marsh Frog are flourishing and wetland vegetation is also thriving and creating a sea all shades of green.

“Our wetland teams have been busily monitoring changes in the plants and animals, and all the other natural elements that rely on the flooding of this important wetland area,” Mr Hosking said.

World Wetlands Day is an annual international event held on February 2 and for more information about the Macquarie Marshes, visit the Macquarie valley web page.

Photos for media: Celebrating World Wetlands Day at Macquarie Marshes.

Contact: Vanessa Fuchs