Climate Change Innovation Grant awarded to NGT – a major boost for Walker Swamp floodplain restoration!

In some really exciting news that perfectly complements our future plans at Walker Swamp, I am delighted to announce that Nature Glenelg Trust has been awarded a Climate Change Innovation Grant from the Victorian Government. Although this grant doesn’t address our minor funding shortfall on up-front land purchase costs, it will enable the project to implement all the earthworks required to reverse artificial drainage across the entire 1000 acre project area – which means that those essential works will now definitely occur in autumn next year (2019).

Hosted by DELWP’s Virtual Centre for Climate Change Innovation, this grant program is supporting an extremely diverse range of cutting-edge initiatives across Victoria, over the next couple of years, to test solutions for addressing climate change impacts – you can see the full list of projects here. In our situation, removing the threat of artificial drainage and restoring wetland habitats for threatened species, will buffer the upper Wannon River floodplain against climate change impacts (by retaining more water in the landscape), and create a community demonstration site for sustainable floodplain restoration and management.

Significantly for NGT, this latest grant now means that, thanks to other funding also being provided by DELWP and the Glenelg Hopkins CMA, we have all the necessary steps in place to ensure the restoration of natural floodplain hydrology across the entire project area (both Stage 1 and 2) occurs over the next couple of years.

Those steps, which NGT’s Senior Ecologist Greg Kerr will manage and deliver from his base in Dunkeld, are:

  1. Reserve establishment works. Currently funded by a Victorian Government (DELWP) Biodiversity and On-ground Action (BOA) Grant.
  2. On-ground restoration activities, management planning and community engagement. Funded from 2018-2020 by the Glenelg Hopkins CMA, through the Victorian Government (DELWP) Our Catchments Our Communities Program.
  3. Hydrological restoration assessment and planning, permits and approvals, prior to earthworks occurring in autumn 2019. Funded by the Glenelg Hopkins CMA, through the Victorian Government (DELWP) Our Catchments Our Communities Program.
  4. Implementation of major earthworks to reverse artificial drainage, restore natural river and floodplain processes and monitor eco-hydrological response to the works. Monitoring will commence in 2018 and continue throughout, while all major works will take place in autumn 2019. Funded in 2018-2020 by a Victorian Government (DELWP) Climate Change Innovation Grant.

In future updates, Greg will begin to tell us about these steps – needless to say, it is a large and complex undertaking!

Significantly for now however, this means that anyone who is considering donating towards the fundraiser, to cover our shortfall on the land purchase costs, can do so with the confidence of knowing that all the on-ground restoration works required at the site over the next couple of years are now fully funded from other sources. Obviously that means we won’t be coming back seeking further donations for this purpose (noting that for NGT active, public fundraising is only a ‘last-resort’ activity anyway!).

If you would like to make a once-off contribution to assist NGT with our minor shortfall on the land purchase costs, please click on the ‘Donate’ button below – and if you do (or have already donated), thanks so much for your support!

The main arterial drains across the Stage 1 and 2 project areas (total 1000 acres) at Walker Swamp, that will be regulated or (wherever possible) completely back-filled to restore the ecology and function of this portion of the Wannon River floodplain.

This project is supported by:

Mark Bachmann