Environment SA News

Rehabilitation underway at important wetlands site

Vital wetland habitat will be restored at a significant cultural and ecological site in the Lower Lakes as part of a $4 million investment by the Australian Government and the Government of South Australia.

Rehabilitation underway at important wetlands site
Photo credit: Landscape SA

The Teringie Wetlands project will increase shorebird foraging habitat by about 18ha as part of the wider Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin program’s $10 million On Ground Works.

The 490ha wetland site is located on Ngarrindjeri Country at Lake Alexandrina about 3km south-west of the Raukkan township. The wetlands are important to the Ngarrindjeri peoples as a site for significant cultural practices.

Indigenous building company Intract Australia will construct wetland management infrastructure at the wetlands on behalf of the Department for Environment and Water.

Historically, Teringie’s basins were linked but now rarely connect.

Construction works began this month and will include the installation of 2 flow regulators to provide greater control over water management and reinstate flow paths between the wetland’s 2 large basins.

Access tracks, some of which have previously acted as a barrier to water flows, will also be upgraded.

The project’s design was informed through consultation with the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation (NAC), Raukkan Community Council and the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board.

The department’s Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Program Leader, Nadine Kelly, said enhancing connectivity between the basins and reinstating flow paths was fundamental to the wetlands' restoration.

“Teringie Wetlands is characterised by a habitat mosaic of shallow water and mudflat, which provide essential habitat for foraging shorebird communities of the Coorong and Lower Lakes,” she said.

“However, these shorebird species have experienced significant declines in the region, linked to a reduction in the quality and availability of foraging habitat caused by infrequent inundation, groundwater salinity, pest plant invasion and a loss of biodiversity.

“These works are essential to enhance the health of the wetlands and ensure the cultural, ecological and social value of the site is improved and preserved for future generations.”

NAC Executive Officer Bill Wilson said the project had potential to deliver economic benefits and increase employment opportunities for the residents of Raukkan.

“Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation are excited and thankful for the significant government investment that will go a long way to the restoration and rejuvenation of the Teringie Wetlands,” Mr Wilson said.

The Teringie Wetlands also form part of The Living Murray program's Lower Lakes, Coorong and Murray Mouth Icon Site, and are directly adjacent the boundary of the Coorong and the Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Wetland Ramsar site.

The Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin is jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Government of South Australia.