Media Release: Community collaboration key to local mangroves survival



Community collaboration key to local mangroves survival

Scientists and community members are working together in a collaboration project to restore local mangroves burnt in the 2019 bushfires on the NSW South Coast.

Leading the project is OceanWatch Australia’s Spatial Project Officer, Dr Claudia Santori.

“The mangroves that we are working on for this project were badly affected by the 2019-2020 bushfires in a way that has been rarely, if ever, observed in Australia and worldwide.

“Mangroves usually don’t burn because they are protected by being so close to or in the water, but 2019 was an exceptional year. The heat of the intense fires killed many of the trees, and degraded or destroyed the habitat they used to provide”, said Dr Santori.

Often referred to as the ‘kidneys’ of the environment, mangroves are the coastal wetlands’ water filtration system, and are crucial to sustainable ocean care.

“Mangrove forests are a very important ecosystem, as many terrestrial and aquatic species rely on them. Particularly, they are a key habitat for mammals, spiders, several insect species, and birds. Also, these mangroves provide habitat for a variety of aquatic species, and they are an important nursery for fish.

“Considering Australia has the third largest area of mangroves in the world, protecting these ecosystems is vitally important and supporting them to recover after such destruction even more so,” said Dr Santori.

With funding from the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants, Dr Santori, along with local community members, are doing their bit to protect and ensure the survival of this important aquatic habitat.

“Focusing on the Clyde, Moruya and Womboyn Rivers, we’ve held a series of educational workshops on mangroves and the MangroveWatch monitoring protocol, to generate interest among locals and visitors. We are creating a community around the mangroves to ensure that they are protected, supported and healthy.

“Our project will enhance the recovery and maximise the resilience of fire-affected mangrove forests in the South Coast of NSW and all the animals that rely on the habitat they provide. It will also allow us to improve our understanding of the impacts of bushfires to this important ecosystem.”

With World Wetland Day on February 2 focusing on taking action to restore, repair and protect wetlands, Dr Santori said community support and collaboration is vital in supporting wetland habitats such as mangroves, to enhance their important role now and into the future.

“Mangroves have an important role in wave mitigation, bank stabilisation, in the reduction of erosion and lock up significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. With a changing climate and many challenges ahead on our shorelines they are crucial to biodiversity and the health of our waters and shorelines.”

The Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.


OceanWatch Australia staff in Batemans Bay doing a ‘long plot’ measuring trees in bushfire affects zones. 


Landcare NSW

Samantha Stratton / M: 0487 767 955 / E:

OceanWatch Australia

Claudia Santori / M: 0455 550 942 / E:

Media Release: Sowing the seeds for renewal in the Eurobodalla

Landcarers have been sowing the seeds for renewal to ensure the future of the last remaining species of Warty Zieria in the Eurobodalla.

A small bush with delicate white flowers, there are only 3,000 remaining in the wild meaning that the work undertaken by Eurobodalla Landcare is crucial in its recovery and reestablishment.

It’s been two years since bushfires ravaged much of the east coast of NSW, and since the fires invasive species such as Lantana have flourished without any competition hindering the recovery of the more delicate species.

Funding through the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants will ensure that local landholders will have the resources to remove the hardy invasive species and work to ensure widespread recovery of Warty Zieria.

Eurobodalla Shire Council Environment Project Officer, Tom Gear, says the involvement of a collaboration of private landholders and widespread community engagement will mean that habitat opportunities may increase for Warty Zieria.

“This project is about building community collaboration and participation in protecting and supporting threatened species.

“Most of the habitat of the remaining plants is on private land and so community-led involvement means we are helping everyone take a targeted widespread approach to recovery,” says Tom.

The project, held at Tilba on the South Coast of NSW, will be held at six key management sites and involve the managers of all land tenure where the species is known to exist.

Tom said the project will work with landholders to deal with invasive species such as Lantana and Blackberry and help support and identify existing sites.

“Warty Zieria is very habitat-specific, and its distribution isn’t wide. It can be found primarily on rocky habitat with shallow soils and a northerly aspect so we will be working directly with private landholders with weed control to help free up habitat areas so that existing plants can thrive.

“The wider Central Tilba and Tilba Tilba community, including residents and local landholders, Tilba Landcare and business owners will also be engaged in this project through education events and opportunities.”

The Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.

Key statistics

– Warty Zieria (Zieria tuberculata) is exclusively found in the Tilba area around the base of Mt Guluga and Najanuga

– The project includes provision of spray packs that can be borrowed by residents to assist weed control in Warty Zieria habitat.

– Given the species preference for shallow rocky soils, we can target potential and existing Warty Zieria habitat with our weed control efforts.

– Community education on the species is vital, many locals aren’t aware of the species and its limited distribution or its Vulnerable Conservation Status.

Media contact:

Samantha Stratton / Landcare NSW /

Eurobodalla Shire Council/ p: 4474 1000 e:

Media Release: Landcare NSW and OzFish launches citizen science initiative to help bushfire affected waterways in NSW 

Joint Media Release

Monday 6th December

OzFish in partnership with Landcare NSW has today announced a state-wide citizen science program in a bid to monitor the recovery of waterways since the 2019-2020 Black Summer Bushfires.

Aptly named Waterway Fire Science, the project which is funded by the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants program aims to mobilise community groups and recreational fishers to self-monitor the recovery of their local waterways. Volunteers will use a range of water sampling techniques that will contribute to ongoing research efforts and future bushfire recovery programs.

OzFish’s Project Officer for NSW South Coast, Lucas Kas is enthusiastic about the immediate impact citizen scientists can have.

“The more people we can get to roll up their sleeves and get out in the field to collect data, the clearer the picture we will have of the rate of recovery,” said Lucas.

“Understanding the way these systems are recovering is key to minimising the impact fires have in the future. It allows OzFish and our partners to see what activities will increase the resilience and revival of our waterways after fire events.”

“Bushfires are inevitable in Australia, but residents can now get involved in how to help habitat revive,” said Lucas.

OzFish and Landcare NSW are calling upon community members interested in making a positive contribution to their local waterways, to get involved.

Through the partnership, OzFish will provide training on identifying the impacts fire has on riparian vegetation, water quality and riverbank stability, as well as how to measure, monitor, respond to, and commence recovery of impacted waterways.

Landcare NSW Chair, Stephanie Cameron said local Landcare groups, recreational fishers and individuals can access training and increase their skills and knowledge to make a real difference on the ground.

“Training will be provided through a series of both online and in-field workshops across NSW, of which the dates and locations will be announced in early 2022,” said Stephanie.

“Volunteers will also learn how to collect key readings of vegetation, as well as harnessing exciting new technologies like eDNA to confirm the presence of any species in the area.

“At each event all equipment will be provided to allow volunteers to carry out a range of monitoring techniques such as water bug sampling and mapping terrestrial and aquatic fauna using underwater cameras,” said Stephanie.

If you’d like to get involved or hear more about the project, head over to Waterway Fire Science – OzFish Unlimited and click on the Waterway Fire Science page under projects and register your interest now.

This Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.


Interviews Available

Media Contacts
Jonathon Bleakley – Media Manager | OzFish Unlimited | 0402171914

About OzFish 
OzFish Unlimited is a national fishing conservation charity established to improve the health of our rivers, lakes and estuaries. It is a member-based organisation dedicated to make our fishing grounds healthy, vibrant and more productive. Their active work includes; habitat restoration such as resnagging, riverbank planting, fishways, shellfish reefs and educational and community capacity building programs.

About Landcare NSW
Landcare NSW is the peak body and voice of community Landcare in NSW. Our mission is to care for the land and the environment. The Landcare movement is a community-based approach to managing and protecting our natural resources – creating more productive and sustainable farms, conserving our environment, and building more cohesive and resilient communities. Landcare connects you to on-ground activities where you can volunteer with like-minded individuals who have a passion for caring for country.


Enigmatic Penrith Platypus Found in Western Sydney

Landcarers in the Mulgoa Valley safeguarding the future of a recently discovered population of platypus have secured Landcare funding to mitigate the impacts of Black Summer fires on the rare species.

With $55,000 from the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants, Mulgoa Landcare – based outside Penrith – will embark on regeneration and restoration work along Schoolhouse Creek and Mulgoa Creek to secure the area against current and future fire impacts, while monitoring water quality and educating nearby communities in protecting the species.

“Over the years, there has been anecdotal stories but with the urban development in the area we just weren’t sure. When we found out there was evidence of platypus in the creeks we were thrilled,” said Mulgoa Landcare Coordinator Lisa Harrold.

By using Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling, the group has found indications of Platypus presence along Mulgoa, Schoolhouse and Jerry’s Creeks.

“Drought, followed by bushfire and flooding have led to large scale impacts on platypi populations.

“Platypus are often referred to as ‘indicator species’ – a bit like the ‘canary in the coalmine’ and urban sprawl has significantly impacted waterways and the health of platypus habitat

“A recent study indicates there has been an 18% decline in populations of the iconic species in fire affected areas in the nine months following the bushfires. Add the additional stress of ash in waterways followed by pollutants and sediment in the flooding, and Platypi have had a great deal to contend with.

“Platypi are hardy creatures, but their food source is not. Water invertbrates are incredibly sensitive to water quality so the work being done by Mulgoa Landcare and our greater network and funded by the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants is crucial in supporting their habitat and survival.”

With extensive revegetation and restoration works along riverbanks and landscapes being undertaken over the past 25 years and more to come Lisa says funding, focus and community support are essential in supporting local platypus populations.

“Platypus are declining, and we need to do something about threats to the species before it is too late. The Penrith Platypus Project will help monitor local platypi and commence habitat restoration to secure this population and understand their habitat needs, not just at a local level, but also against current large scale environmental impacts elsewhere. It’s a big task but if you don’t start then you’ll never see improvements.”

Landcare NSW Chair, Stephanie Cameron said the project, funded through the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Fund will ensure that the newly identified platypus populations in Penrith can be supported into the future.

This grants program is jointly managed by Landcare Australia and the National Landcare Network, delivered in conjunction with the relevant State and Territory Landcare organisations.

The Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.


Training communities to monitor and recover critical mangrove habitat on the South Coast, developing habitat for Greater Gliders on the North Coast, and supporting ecologically isolated remnant vegetation in the alps of NSW are among the successful projects funded in NSW.

These projects are just some of the 111 funded projects spread out across Australia as part of the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program. Of the projects funded in NSW, 77% are projects being delivered by member groups of Landcare NSW.

The Program is a $14 million Federal Government commitment to deliver on-ground activities to aid in the recovery of native wildlife and habitat in seven regions severely impacted by the Black Summer bushfires.

Landcare NSW CEO, Dr Adrian Zammit, said the funding will build on the successful projects already occurring across NSW and Australia to support fire affected communities.

“We have seen incredible work being delivered by our NSW Landcare community supporting their local environments in response to the catastrophic fires of 2019 and 2020. The funding will ensure that community-led environmental activities will be delivered in the most vulnerable bushfire-impacted regions. From revegetation and regeneration projects to data collection and community engagement, the diversity of these projects will ensure the impacted communities have the support they need to rebuild and recover,” said Dr Zammit.

The projects the grants will fund are diverse and range from projects monitoring platypus in Penrith, construction and installation of nest boxes for wildlife, supporting landowners to work together on neighbouring properties to control foxes and replant native vegetation as well as funding to repair waterways and build seed collection in fire affected regions.

One successful project is the North Coast Regional Landcare’s work with a series of Indigenous-led workshops to be supported on bushfire recovery with co-design and involvement from Landcare and Indigenous stakeholders.

North Coast Regional Landcare Network Chair, Jim Kinkead, says he welcomes the funding which will build on the existing work the region has undertaken in the past 18 months.

“Our region lost thousands of hectares of biodiversity in the bushfires and so many of our projects and the work we have undertaken was destroyed, so funding such as this is a crucial part of our recovery and rehabilitation works.

“The projects that all Landcare and community groups are delivering is fantastic and incredible to see,” Mr Kinkead said.

Other projects include funding to OzFish Unlimited to work in the conservation and repair of riparian areas along the Nymboida River – home to Platypus and critical habitat for threatened Eastern Freshwater Cod furthering the ongoing partnership between Landcare NSW and OzFish Unlimited.

This grants program is jointly managed by Landcare Australia and the National Landcare Network, delivered in conjunction with the relevant State and Territory Landcare organisations.

The Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.

A list of the 111 Landcare grant projects can be found at

(To access the list scroll down to Landcare Australia bushfire recovery grants program, and click on the arrow next to ‘Approved Projects’ title and a drop down list will appear.)

Media Release: Landcare NSW welcomes federal grants for regions impacted by Black Summer

Landcare NSW welcomes grants of approximately $50,000 and $300,000 now available for local bushfire recovery projects in regions impacted by Black Summer bushfires

 21st May, 2021

Local Landcare groups, environment networks and community groups working on bushfire recovery projects can now access funding of approximately $50,000 in a landmark new grants program funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Recently announced by Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley, the $14 million Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants program is supporting recovery projects in seven government designated regions impacted by the Black Summer bushfires in Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia, four of which are in NSW.

NSW Landcare communities in the NSW North Coast and Tablelands, NSW Greater Blue Mountains and World Heritage area, forests of the NSW South Coast, NSW alpine environments are target areas for the funding.

In addition to funding of approximately $50,000, landscape-scale partnerships working together on bushfire recovery projects can also access funding of approximately $300,000.

Landcare NSW CEO, Dr Adrian Zammit said the funding will ensure that community-led environmental activities will be delivered in the most vulnerable bushfire-impacted regions.

“Our communities have been ravaged by fire, drought and flood and this funding will benefit habitats and landscapes through landscape restoration, improving biodiversity and supporting community resilience.”

“From revegetation and regeneration projects to invasive species control, data collection and community engagement, the diversity of funding will ensure all bushfire impacted communities have the support they need to rebuild and recover.”

The grants program will be co-delivered by all the relevant peak state Landcare bodies who will work together to support project applicants, and coordinate a wide range of high-impact on-ground community and environmental projects over the next 12 months for community landcare.

Applications for grants will remain open until June 16 with successful applicants notified late June.

To apply and for further information visit

Available for interview

Landcare NSW CEO, Dr Adrian Zammit

This grants program is jointly managed by Landcare Australia and the National Landcare Network, delivered in conjunction with Queensland Water and Land Carers, Landcare NSW, Landcare ACT, Landcare Victoria, and the Landcare Association of South Australia to mobilise, build capacity, increase participation and support Landcare and community groups, landowners, land managers and other partners for improved delivery of bushfire recovery actions. 

The Program has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat