Restoring Landing Lights Wetland
Landing Lights Wetland (also known as Riverine Park Wetlands), located at Spring Street, Banksia is one of Council's most environmentally significant natural areas. The site contains some of the last remaining saline wetlands on the Cooks River and includes vegetation identified as threatened under NSW legislation (salt-marsh).
Migratory birds from as far away as Siberia visit Landing Lights during the warmer months to feed and fatten up before returning to the Northern Hemisphere to breed. The wetland also provides potential habitat to a number of threatened Australian coastal bird species. With the significant urban development that has occurred along the Australian coast, Landing Lights is one of the few suitable sites in Botany Bay that can provide this important habitat.
Council has compiled a list of migratory and coastal birds seen at the Wetlands (which is by no means complete). More photos below courtesy of Steve Painter.
Black Winged Stilt
Golden Headed Cisticola
White Faced Heron
Unfortunately, this site is suffering from significant weed infestation from exotic and inappropriate Australian plant species. This weed invasion is slowly impacting on the condition and extent of the salt-marsh as well as the site's value in providing a home to migratory and Australian coastal birds.
On Ground Work
To protect this site Council has begun undertaking significant weed control and vegetation removal which will continue over the next three years. This includes the removal of Mangroves, Casuarinas and Acacias within and adjacent to the Landing Lights Wetlands. This removal is occurring to protect the existing salt-marsh from being overrun by trees and shrubs that should not exist in this area, and to open up the site to ensure it continues to provide important habitat for threatened and migratory coastal birds.
Works that have started include:
- Treatment of the weed species Juncus acutus along the boardwalk and within the saltmarsh area
- Removal of mangroves within the wetland and Spring Street Drain
- Removal of Casuarinas growing adjacent to Spring Street Drain
- Treatment of woody weeds such as Mickey mouse plant (Ochna serrulata), Green Cestrum (Cestrum parquii) and Golden wattle (Acacia saligna)
- Treatment of the fast-growing vines, Coastal morning Glory/Mile-a-minute (Ipomoea cairica), Turkey Rhubarb (Acetosa sagittata) and highly invasive groundcover Hydrocotyle bonariensis
- Installation of native plantings with the help of the community along the boardwalk
- Clearing of rubbish that was blocking the pipe outlet into the wetland
Council has received approval from NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW Fisheries) to remove the Mangroves at this site.
To compensate for this vegetation removal Council will plant two new local native species throughout the City for each tree species removed at this site.
As part of this project Council will also be undertaking a number of community engagement activities to raise awareness of the importance of Rockdale's wetlands.
This has included a number of wetland tours and planting days, some of these are highlighted below:
Many of these activities have been held in collaboration with Advance Diversity Services.
In addition to the Rockdale Flock bird watching group Council has also engaged an ecologist to monitor the diversity and abundance of birds at the Landing Lights wetlands.
November 2013 - March 2016
April 2016 - October 2016
If you would like to be kept updated on the project and proposed works please contact Alexandra Vandine on 9562 1835 (Wednesday-Friday) or email email@example.com
This project is supported by Rockdale City Council and the Cooks River Alliance through funding from the Australian Government and the NSW Government's Greater Sydney Local Land Services.