River corridors and wetlands
The Murrumbidgee and Molonglo rivers, and their major tributaries, represent important aquatic and riparian ecosystems in the ACT. These rivers provide important environmental and social benefits including:
- natural habitat and wildlife connectivity
- human nutrition (water and food supply)
- cultural heritage
Over a hundred years of large-scale clearing of native vegetation for urban development and agriculture has severely degraded river corridors and wetlands. These land use changes have led to:
- increased soil erosion
- reduced water quality
- changed stream flows
- loss of habitat and connectivity for a range of species (e.g. fish, birds and bats).
For more information about Conservation of river corridors and wetlands in the ACT see ACT Aquatic Species and Riparian Zone Conservation Strategy
The ACT Aquatic Species and Riparian Zone Conservation Strategy seeks to maintain and improve the natural integrity of our rivers and riparian zones by:
- maintaining and improving linear and upslope connectivity
- restoring riparian habitat
- maintaining in-stream habitat (including stream flow)
- rehabilitating native fish populations (where feasible)
- maintaining wildlife corridors
- maintaining and protecting aquatic ecosystem processes and water quality.
River Corridors and wetland projects
Lower Molonglo revegetation
The Molonglo Catchment Group and ACT Parks and Conservation Service are revegetating previously cleared areas along the Lower Molonglo. Over 200 hectares have been replanted with over 20,000 trees and shrubs.
The project aims to enhance the extent and condition of native vegetation in this degraded area to retain its ecological values by:
- improving habitat quality of existing native vegetation
- increasing habitat connectivity
- stabilising soil
- reducing weeds.
The project is part-funded through the Australian Government National Landcare Program and administered by ACT NRM.