Mangrove men slow tide of erosion

Paul Hawker, John Bratt, Jeff Sutton, Don Sawers and Stuart Crowther plant mangroves and fill sandbags on the riverbank around the Nowra Golf Club.

Paul Hawker, John Bratt, Jeff Sutton, Don Sawers and Stuart Crowther plant mangroves and fill sandbags on the riverbank around the Nowra Golf Club.

INSPIRED by Charlie Weir’s successful riverbank rehabilitation with mangroves, a group of golfers have worked hard to stabilise the bank north of the Nowra Bridge.

The Nowra Golf Club Riverbank Rehabilitation Project started when members of the Nowra Veteran Golfers Bushcare Group decided to expand their reach.

Erosion has caused slabs of the sandy bank around the Nowra Golf Club to collapse into the river. The group added the riparian zone to their usual target of lantana and other weeds on the edges of the golf course.

In just over two years the efforts of this group, the youngest of whom is 65, are bearing fruit.

The men propagated and planted 2500 mangroves, installed protective fencing, have built a sandbag wall to prevent erosion and planted casuarina trees.

Recently a group of six men moved 2.7 tonnes of sand into sandbags in just two hours.

Founding member of the group Stuart Crowther said the few mature mangroves that were already in the area had sand mounded around them where their roots were holding the riverbank together.

“We have noticed a difference already,” he said.

“There is a lot of sand piling up behind the sandbags.”

The group meets every second Monday at 10am. For more information about the project or to become a volunteer, phone 4421 2449.

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