Point Sturt, SA

Project to revegetate vital wetland areas

Located at the mouth of the Murray River, Lake Alexandrina forms part of the Milang Wetlands of international significance under the Ramsar Convention*.  The Milang Wetlands support a wide variety of plants and animals, especially waterbirds.

Rising salinity, clearing of vegetation, over-grazing and invasive weeds have lead to a decrease in suitable habitat for birds, putting their survival in the region in jeopardy.  Plants, people and fish are also affected by these threats.

Traditional owners, the Ngarrindjeri people are very concerned, as their ruwi (country) andngatji (totems), such as the pelican, Murray cod and turtles, are stressed.

While issues surrounding the health of the Murray are complex, everyone agrees one aspect requiring urgent attention is revegetation.

In 2004-5, Greenfleet and Scouts Australia completed a large revegetation project along the banks of Lake Alexandrina, as part of the Murray Darling Rescue program.

Landholder Matthew Portus remembers the day it all changed on his property: “In one extraordinary weekend in late May 2005 over 2,000 committed people, brimming with goodwill, descended on Point Sturt and planted over 28,000 native trees and shrubs.  The exercise was well planned and the biodiversity broad.”

The trees planted at Point Sturt are now over 10 years old. This before and after case study captures perfectly the incredible progress and positive impact this forest has achieved. At the time of planting, the conditions were not ideal. There was an ongoing drought and high levels of sand, rocks and saline soil in parts. Nonetheless, this forest had an excellent success rate, with 93% of the seedlings surviving. The team planted a range of local species, all locally grown, including Eucalyptus (gumtree), Acacia (wattle) and Melaleuca (paperbark). Native birds and animals took little time in migrating back into the area they once called home. There is definitely more wildlife present on the site and we are now looking forward to seeing the next generation of trees and shrubs establish, through germination from fallen seeds.

Location size

31.5ha on the shores of Lake Alexandrina, SA

Planting dates

2004- 2005

Species

  1. Acacia cupularis
  2. Acacia paradoxa
  3. Acacia pycnantha
  4. Acacia sophorae
  5. Allocasuarina verticillata
  6. Banksia marginata
  7. Banksia ornata
  8. Callistemon rugulosis
  9. Callitris gracilis
  10. Dodonaea viscosa
  11. Eucalyptus camaldulensis
  12. Eucalyptus diversifolia      
  13. Eucalyptus fasciculosa
  14. Eucalyptus incrassata
  15. Eucalyptus odorata
  16. Eucalyptus socialis
  17. Hakea vittata
  18. Hakea muelleriana
  19. Melaleuca acuminate
  20. Melaleuca halmaturorum
  21. Melaleuca lanceolata
  22. Olearia axillaris
  23. Pittosporum phylliraeoides