Mucking in for Mangroves

Bushfire affected mangrove recovery on the Clyde River

Mucking in for Mangroves

Bushfire affected mangrove recovery on the Clyde River

Capacity to Deliver -

LP037 - 003

The issue

Mangroves are plants that live in the intertidal zone. They hold sediment with their roots, are extremely important for trapping and storing carbon from the atmosphere, and provide habitat for a variety of animals such as oysters, spiders, birds, crabs and fish. They also hold cultural value for many people.

The 2019-2020 bushfires affected many coastal areas in NSW and, for the first time, we saw Mangroves burn extensively or die due to the extreme heat. If the affected mangrove forests don't recover the consequences may be dire for wildlife and water quality.

The solution

A collaboration between OceanWatch, MangroveWatch, local Landcare groups and oyster farms began in late 2021 to measure the damage to mangroves on the Clyde River and assisted their recovery by collecting seedlings that were stuck on oyster growing infrastructure.

A small nursery was created where hundreds of Grey Mangrove seedlings were grown, which were then looked after by local oyster farmers. Landcare volunteers headed back out to the burnt mangrove sites and planted them into the mud following expert advice and will now monitor their survival.

The impact

This project of discovery and resilience has formed a fantastic network of scientists, community and oyster farmers and will hopefully be the baseline for continuing to help mangroves and their related wildlife recover from the bushfires now and into the future.

Key facts

  • Mangroves are one of the most productive habitats on earth and are rarely impacted by fire.
  • The 19/20 Black Summer bush fires burnt mangroves on the Clyde River.
  • Scientists, Eurobodalla Landcare volunteers and oyster farmers working together to asses the impact & address habitat loss.

Project Partners