You are invited to join the Kodala Lane Bushcare Group at Glenbrook Lagoon for their quarterly Bushcare session.
Come join us restore the bushland at Kodala Lane. Our local community are working with council to transform this area into healthy bushland and a pleasant local reserve for all to enjoy. If you’d like to learn more about the local bushland, restore the local area and meet your neighbours come join us!
Bookings Essential. Book by Wednesday 2 September.
A floating, eco habitat designed to provide a safe nesting place for turtles at Glenbrook Lagoon was launched on 10 March.
Turtle Island – a collaboration between Council, Western Sydney University and Blue Mountains volunteers – was a pilot project funded by the NSW Premiers Office and Council.
“This pilot project has already seen much success, with turtle eggs discovered recently,” Mayor Mark Greenhill said.
“Glenbrook Lagoon is home to a number of turtle species, including Eastern Long-neck and Sydney Basin turtles. Turtles have been facing an uncertain future, as foxes destroy 95 per cent of their nests, but the island is providing a refuge.”
Leading expert in turtles Western Sydney University’s Dr Ricky Spencer, whom inspired Geoffrey Smith (Healthy Waterways Program Leader) and Nathan Summers (Bushcare Officer) to design and construct this project, attended the launch along with Council staff, Bushcare volunteers and school students from St Finbar’s Primary School and Glenbrook Primary School.
Local primary students have been involved in environmental studies at Glenbrook Lagoon, including Council Bioblitz events, and Turtle studies.
Glenbrook Lagoon is a haven for remnant bushland, it’s an active Bushcare site and a valued recreation point for the community.
The well-being of the Lagoon has always been important to the community. The Glenbrook Lagoon Society started in 1978 and Bushcare volunteers began working here around 1993, making it one of the earliest community driven Bushcare groups in the Blue Mountains.
Council has an ongoing commitment to restore the ecological condition of Glenbrook Lagoon and the lagoon is now free from major infestations of water weeds such as Salvinia and Cabomba which plagued it for many years.
Turtles play an important role in the ecosystem at the lagoon, acting like vacuum cleaners of the water body.
“The Lagoon is rich with wildlife – native fish, eels, frogs and a remarkable array of birdlife,” Mayor Greenhill said.
Water quality in the lagoon is closely monitored by Council and officers have put incredible effort into addressing all sources of pollution within the catchment.
Turtle habitats, a predesigned structure that includes plastic tubing, aquatic plants, sands and geotextile, are being installed at locations throughout NSW.
Turtle Island is set to launch on Tuesday 10th March (re-scheduled date). A collaboration between Bushcare Volunteers, business and community is a floating, eco habitat designed to provide a safe nesting environment away from predation for the several species of turtles (and birds) found at Glenbrook Lagoon.
Bring sturdy footwear and a hat. Gum boots may be useful. Morning tea will be supplied. Please RSVP or contact Nathan Summers on 4780 5623 or email@example.com
This Paper was presented by Aquatic Systems Officer Christina Day at a National Conference
Christina Day 1, Ian A. Wright2, Amy St Lawrence1, Robert Setter1, Geoffrey Smith1
Environment Branch, Blue Mountains City Council, Locked Bag 1005, Katoomba, NSW, 2780. firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751. email@example.com.
The recently registered SharkTM Aquatic Herbicide (240g/L carfentrazone-ethyl) was used at Glenbrook Lagoon to treat an infestation of cabomba, one of the first applications of this scale in Australia.
Water quality and ecological effects were monitored to determine the impacts of the herbicide on a large natural water body.
One year later, monitoring programs show a return to healthy dissolved oxygen levels; a healthy population of native fish and turtles; and no evidence of cabomba or weed water lily.
This case study highlights the challenges involved with planning and implementing a large scale aquatic weed control program and the importance of understanding and careful consideration of the current physical, chemical and biological conditions of the individual water body being targeted.
Turtles, fish and other aquatic life is thriving at Glenbrook Lagoon, – once the most polluted waterway in the Blue Mountains, – thanks to a successful seven-year restoration program involving the local community and funded by Council’s Environment Levy.
Recent surveys of the lagoon, conducted by Council, have revealed healthy populations of Eastern long-necked turtles, Flat-headed gudgeon, Australian smelt, eels and catfish. Pollution-sensitive water insects that have not been seen in the lagoon for many years are also on the rise, – which means water quality is improving.
Above the water line, local residents have reported that the lagoon is looking more ‘alive and inviting’ as the environment recovers.
Less than a decade ago, Glenbrook Lagoon was in poor shape, acting as a sink for stormwater runoff from surrounding neighbourhoods. High levels of water pollution led to an explosion of two aquatic weeds – Cabomba and Salvinia – which were literally choking the lagoon to death.
Cabomba and Salvinia are Weeds of National Significance, – members of Australia’s ‘most wanted’ list of invasive, destructive weeds. Cabomba, – an aquarium escapee, – is particularly virulent, and posed a potentially serious threat to Sydney’s nearby water supply, as well as waterway health, fisheries, recreation and tourism downstream.
Since the mid 1990’s, Council has been working on a long-term project to bring Glenbrook Lagoon back to life; installing systems to reduce stormwater pollution, combatting noxious weeds in and around the lagoon, replanting native species, supporting local Bushcare and Clean Up Australia efforts, and raising community awareness.
In a national first for such a large natural water body, the Council has cleared 99.9% of Cabomba and Salvinia. Water quality is improving, bushland habitats around the lagoon are steadily recovering and less pollution is flowing into the lagoon. The Council is also continuing to monitor the lagoon’s status.
To fund Cabomba control, the Council secured a $280,000 Caring for Our Country grant from the Federal Government, with $200,000 in matching funds provided by Council’s Environment Levy. The Council’s Environment Levy raises around $1.5 million annually from Council rates and funds projects to restore local creeks, improve water quality, control noxious weeds, protect endangered species and improve walking tracks across the City.
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said, “With its peaceful setting, open spaces and birdlife, Glenbrook Lagoon is a true local gem of the lower Blue Mountains. It’s exciting for both the local community and the environment that this little oasis is returning to life.”
“Glenbrook Lagoon is just one of 50 waterway sites regularly tested for water quality and one of 130 bushland sites currently being rehabilitated by Council; work which is made possible through Council’s Environment Levy.”
A Council aquatic weed control program funded partly by the Blue Mountains Environment Levy and partly by the Federal Government’s Caring for our Country initiative is dramatically improving the condition of Glenbrook Lagoon by tackling a water-weed infestation that has ‘choked’ the lagoon for many years. Continue reading →