How to Trash a Wetland
On Friday the 6th of November BREC made a field trip to the wetlands at Runcorn between Compton road and the Runcorn Tavern.
What we saw was heartbreaking and appalling, the wetlands have been trashed and the whole area is in danger of being destroyed by rising water tables killing trees and bringing salt to the surface. The creeks have been cleared and most of the trees have been removed leading to an alarming and lethal rise in the local water table.
Given the rhetoric of "healthy waterways" and "environmental best practice" it is always interesting to see how it really works "on the ground".
What follows is a photo journal of our field trip from just downstream from the Brady Bushland till we gave up in disgust and anger.
So far so good despite having most of the trees upstream cleared this little pond looked OK
The ducks looked happy too
Looking up we noticed a 2 metre pile of illegal fill threatening the pond
Going 100 m further downstream we came across this "wonderful" example of best practice urban design.
First came the revegetation areas, where a pine log bed was filled with pine bark, plants dropped in with no extra soil and left to die.
Then came the creekline with all vegetation, apart from a few big trees, scraped clean by bulldozer.
The few big trees left then had their roots run over with the dozer which of course ...kills them.
Looking back up the creek you can see that all the riparian vegetation either side has been removed, just right for sterile sububan park.
Just down stream from this development another waterhole struggles to survive note the muddy looking water.
This photo is just 40m downstream from the waterhole and shows how all the vegetation apart from a narrow middle strip has been cleared with dire consequences.
The clearing has lead to a rising water table which has drowned the big river gums.
And changed the water quality as this algae bloom further downstream shows.
Another example of best practice habitat retention.
These ducks were left wondering where their habitat had got too.
Rounding the corner we saw where having removed the understory the area was invaded by an introduced legume.
The big trees were all dead...rising water tables again.
This poor little pond was almost on it last legs.
Further along downstream we came across this example of an environmentally sensitive sewer line.. through the wetland.
This larger pond is just downstream of the sewer easment and looked as though a few people had tried to fill it in.
On the downstream side of this last pond we came across where they had first tried to put the sewer line but had become bogged.
Just when we thought it couldn't get worse it did. This is frogs eye view looking from inside the wetland out at the housing development. The development was trying its best to cover up the obviously unsightly wetland.
After taking a few more photos we left to file a report to BCC Pollution Control about this blatant breach of the Water EPP.