Education key to saltmarsh rehabilitation at Bermagui Country Club

South East Local Land Services and Bermagui Country Club, with support from the ‘Climate Proofing Coastal Saltmarsh’ project, have installed signs on Bermagui golf course to educate players and the community about the importance of maintaining healthy coastal saltmarsh habitats. This project is supported by South East Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

“These signs not only educate golfers on why it is important to protect saltmarsh while golfing, but also the general community as many non-golfers walk through the course each day.” Said Bermagui Country Club Manager Robert Beuzeville.

“Hopefully over time having the signs here will add to the community’s appreciation and understanding of the site”.

Staff and sign on the Country Club

Coastal saltmarshes are important habitats. They provide much needed feeding and breeding habitat for native fish, birds and crustaceans, they act as filters for nutrients and sediments and help to reduce erosion and maintain water quality.

“Coastal saltmarshes are also an amazing and important carbon sink. They can absorb as much as two to four times the amount of carbon as tropical rainforests” said South East Local Land Services’ Sonia Bazzacco.

“The Bermagui Country Club is lucky to have some very significant wetland communities on the course, hopefully the signage will help to inform the community about just how special these places are and promote that understanding of why they should be looked after.

“We’ve been very happy to work with Robert and the team to help manage, preserve and enhance these communities over the last four years.”

The installation of the educational signage is the next step in what has developed into a strong relationship between Local Land Services and Bermagui Country Club. Other works to date has seen the rehabilitation of important saltmarsh and mangrove habitats located across the course.

Three years ago Local Land Services funded the removal of over half a hectare of dense Norfolk Island Hibiscus (an invasive native species), which has transformed the area into a healthy coastal saltmarsh community frequented by many bird species.

The works have been noticed by the community and the birds according to Bermagui Country Club Course Superintendent Dave Thomson “As the saltmarsh has re-established I and the golfers have noticed an increase in the diversity of birds that frequent the area, especially wetland birds.”

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