Geology of Araluen Workshop

Around 30 people gathered at the Araluen Hall on Saturday, 26 February 2022 to hear Leah Moore, from the Australian National University, talk about the geology and soils of Araluen. This workshop was the first in a series run as part of the Araluen Creek Restoration Project. Key elements of the project are building community engagement and expanding our understanding of soil erosion and remediation measures.

While the workshop specifically focused on the geological history of the Araluen valley, Leah emphasised the importance of understanding the geology of your local area and how water moves through the landscape. Leah suggested understanding the foundations of your landscape is vital if you want to address erosion in your local waterways, improve water quality, and make your property more drought resistant. She also highlighted various useful web-based tools that can assist with mapping the geology and soil types in your local area, such as E-spade and Salis.

Our fragile waterways need a lot of care and maintenance to make them more resilient. Larry O’Loughlin, participant and Secretary of the Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council (USLC), suggested it's all about “slowing the flow, without causing other unintended impacts, and taking a catchment wide approach”.

While the recent heavy rains have made us more flood-focused, it mustn't be forgotten that erosion control is also vital during drought and post-fire events, such as those of the summer of 2019-2020. In this respect, creek restoration projects are more important than ever to make our waterways more resilient to increasing numbers of extreme weather events.

The Araluen Creek Restoration Project is undertaken by the Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group (UDCLG), in partnership with USLC and the South East Local Land Services. They are planning additional works to rehabilitate the Araluen Creek from the effects of drought, bushfires and flooding over recent years. Stabilization of the creek is necessary to prevent further catastrophic outcomes for the Valley and protect those downstream who depend on good water quality.

Penny Hayman, Secretary of UDCLG notes “climate change, and associated extreme weather events, mean that remedial action is urgent and unavoidable now, or future events will adversely impact the whole catchment of the Araluen Creek and Deua River - compromising the whole area's viability for years to come”.

Penny also praised Leah for her excellent lecture, noting “it was awesome to see it all flow and to have access to such a personable and able presenter".