National Wetlands Update February 2013
Issue No. 22, February 2013
Wetlands at risk of weeds
Philippa Bailey, Friends of Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands
The Friends of Edithvale Seaford Wetlands Weed Maze.
Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands in the southern suburbs of Melbourne are the last remnants of the Carrum Carrum swamp. In 2001, the wetlands were listed under the Ramsar Convention as being of international significance.
The Friends of Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands, FESWI (established 1988), embarked on a steep learning curve in 2012, taking on a weed eradication project that will ultimately maintain and improve water quality at the wetlands.
The group arranged plant identification training in the wetlands with botanist Dr Graeme Lorimer, who taught group members about the variety of native plants which enhance the wetland environment and presented an example of a weed of national significance, Juncus acutus (spiny rush), a growing problem at Seaford wetlands.
FESWI then researched local weeds which mainly escape from household gardens and can prove hazardous in the wetlands environment. It may surprise readers to learn the colourful gazania can be a menace if left to multiply. Another prolific weed in the area is mirrorbush, which is found on many vacant plots of land and has been spotted thriving within the wetlands.
FESWI put all this new knowledge into a booklet "Wetlands at Risk of Weeds" which was launched at our Wetlands Awareness Day, held on 16 September 2012 at Seaford North Primary School.
Launch of the Wetlands at Risk of Weeds booklet, September 2012.
With funds provided by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment's Coastcare program, FESWI were also able to design and purchase a weed maze, which draws children into its compartments, where they discover information and hands on experiences with plants and weeds.
FESWI will be distributing the weed booklets through local community channels close to both wetland areas. The group will be displaying the maze at local events and hope to educate young people about the risk of weeds destroying fragile wetland environments.
For further information visit the FESWI website .