Exploring the hydrological restoration potential of the Aldinga Washpool and Blue Lagoon

Over the next year and a half NGT will be exploring the hydrological restoration potential of the Washpool and Blue Lagoon, coastal wetlands located at Aldinga near the southern edge of metropolitan Adelaide, with support from the Green Adelaide Grassroots Grant program. These wetlands are highly significant to the Kaurna community, as they possess physical reminders of long-term Kaurna connection to this location and also feature in the Kaurna Dreaming story of Tjilbruke (Tjirbruki).

Since European colonisation of the area, the Washpool and Blue Lagoon have become degraded through artificial drains excavated through the wetlands, vegetation clearance,and erosion within the catchment, and possibly sedimentation. Urban development has also encroached upon the area and could intensify in the future.

The Washpool and Blue Lagoon are culturally significant wetlands in southern Adelaide

A considerable amount of ecological, cultural heritage, and geological survey work has already been done to describe the area, and a number of planning documents have been prepared. However, hydrological restoration has not progressed to date. NGT was asked to bring our eco-hydrological experience and to take a fresh look at all the issues. As it happens, NGT already has a relationship with the Washpool; long-term NGT volunteer and property caretaker, Andy Lines, has been involved in the re-introduction of a rare butterfly, the yellowish sedge-skipper (Hesperilla flavescens), to the wetland.

Given the cultural significance of the site, NGT intends to work closely with the Kaurna community to ensure Kaurna aspirations for the Washpool form the basis for any proposed restoration plans. Restoration that enhances both cultural and ecological values is our hope for the area.

If you have knowledge of the history of the Washpool and Blue Lagoon that might help shape its restoration, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Ben Taylor, 0434 620 646, .

This project is funded by Green Adelaide.

Ben Taylor