Long Swamp restoration flashback – what a difference five years makes!

I recently managed to duck into Nobles Rocks at our Long Swamp restoration project site, to see how the permanently reinstated dune at Bully Lake is looking after the summer – the good news is that our revegetation plantings on the newly recreated dune are now starting to take hold and things are stabilising nicely…

Bully Lake dune restoration 2015-2020. Photos: Mark Bachmann

While I was there, I also wandered down to the coast and took a photo of the corresponding section of beach around the old artificial outlet, six years after I previously took some photos at this very location. It turns out that the transformation from when we started this project is quite remarkable!

This first image is from 2014. Apologies about the the blurriness, but you should be able to clearly see how the artificial outlet is causing erosion of the fore dune and preventing sand deposition on the beach.

Nobles Rocks artificial outlet from Long Swamp, when still freely flowing in 2014, before the wetland restoration project got fully underway in 2015. Photo: Mark Bachmann

Fast forward to 2020. This next photo is from a slightly different angle, but if you look carefully you will notice the stark transformation. Five years after the restoration trial successfully prevented the majority of artificial outlet flows discharging here (instead this water now meanders slowly through 11 km of restored wetlands in Long Swamp, en route to Oxbow Lake and the Glenelg River estuary), a new, well vegetated primary dune is forming on the beach – and behind it the steeply eroded and much larger dune is also starting to stabilise.

The changing appearance of the former outlet location at Nobles Rocks, seen here in 2020. Photo: Mark Bachmann

In short, this section of the Discovery Bay coast – much like Bully Lake, the recreated wetland in adjacent Long Swamp – is being transformed.

PS. On the walk back out, we even spotted a pair of Hooded Plovers enjoying the beach habitat nearby.

Mark Bachmann