Tuesday last week, Cath and I had the opportunity to have a look at a couple of locations in Long Swamp in far South West Victoria with some locals from the Nelson area and some visitors from Warrnambool and Ballarat. This continuous stretch of significant coastal wetland runs for about 15 kilometres all the way from the Glenelg River estuary behind the dunes to the east and along the coast to Lake Monibeong.
It is a part of the world where there has been much discussion over the years about water management, as many people have reported observing Long Swamp becoming drier over recent decades, noticing a subsequent change in the nature of the swamp (ie. less open water, more closed vegetation cover).
The visit last week will be the first of many for Nature Glenelg Trust, as our new organisation is hoping to attract grant funding to assist (both the local community and the agencies responsible for managing the site) in gathering the information necessary to determine and review the options for the future management of Long Swamp.
Why does all of this matter? Because Long Swamp is one of the region’s highest priority wetlands, as well as nationally recognised, being on the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia, home to a range of nationally threatened species and providing habitat for migratory species.