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Topics > River Murray > Improving river health > CLLMM Recovery Project

Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Vegetation Program

How we are helping the region recover

We are helping the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth region to recover from the drought and low flows. In one of Australia’s largest ever revegetation programs, more than five million native plants are being planted, in a unique partnership between the community and the government.

Replanting the area with native plants helps:

  • create habitat for native animals, birds and fish
  • improve habitat connectivity between water and land via the planting of sedge in the water
  • restore native vegetation communities
  • tackle acidification by adding carbon to the soil
  • stabilise the soil
  • reduce shoreline erosion.

This will help the region to be more resilient and better adapt to changing water levels in the future. 

Why the region needs help

This 142,500 hectare region is a special place – a Ramsar wetland of international importance with plants, birds and animals found nowhere else in the world. But as the final leg of the River Murray, it has also been the most heavily impacted by drought and over-allocation of water from the River. Following the 2006-2010 drought, the region was on the brink of environmental collapse. As the water fell to historically low levels, acid sulphate soils were exposed and vegetation died, destroying important habitat. There were significant impacts on the communities in this region, with water unfit for human consumption, industries threatened and employment levels declined.

Achievements to date

Helping the environment

Helping the Coorong has required an enormous scale recovery program:

  • more than five million native plants revegetating 2334 hectares and 120 sites
  • more than 60 kilometres of fencing to protect lakeshore and important areas
  • more than 1.1 million sedge plantings to improve habitat connection between land and water
  • strategic pest plant and animal control over more than 6000 hectares protecting native species and their habitats
  • the protection of Aboriginal Heritage looking after the cultural significance of the region
  • research and monitoring carried out to help better understand the changes in the region and help guide the recovery work.

Connecting the community

The community has been key to the success of this program. They have coordinated a network of nurseries to grow native plants and have planted more than 1.3 million plants. The Ngarrindjeri have planted another 390,000 and commercial planting has seen 3.4 million more native plants in the ground. Sites include the Coorong National Park, local council reserves and private properties.

The impact for local communities around the region has been positive, with new connections established between communities around the Lakes and Coorong, including Aboriginal groups. The network has also provided volunteer opportunities, helping to build skills and knowledge and support future employment in the region. The community’s active involvement means they have also gained knowledge and experience to help care for this precious region into the future.

We need your help!

The program is ending in June 2016. To ensure this region is protected in the long term, we need the community to continue the great work they have started.

There are many ways to get involved:   

Find out more

Funding partners

The $137 million Coorong and Lower Lakes Recovery Project is funded by the Australian Government and the Government of South Australia.

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