Restoration of Wetlands

Restored wetland

Many areas of wetlands around Sydney have been destroyed or damaged by urban developments. Many of the remaining areas of salt-marsh and mangrove forest are in poor shape due to reduced tidal flushing or other encroachments by people. The Centre is active in several large- and small-scale experiments on restoration of such habitats.

In many areas, it is claimed that building artificial wetlands around stormwater (or other) outfalls will reduce contamination of nearby water due to sediments and chemicals from roads and gutters. The effectiveness (and, in most cases, whether there is any benefit at all) of these constructed habitats is unknown. For example, in nearly every case, there is no coherent explanation available for the size and design of the wetland. There are no published accounts of investigations of the extent to which such wetlands achieve their aims when these are proposed in terms of ecology, biodiversity, etc.

The Centre is doing research in many areas of these problems. Much of the work is experimental, in conjunction with local government and State agencies. Without this research to investigate how and when projects are successful, money and effort will continue to be wasted on restoration projects that have little to none of the desired environmental outcomes