A NAVY Sea King helicopter from 817 Squadron, based at HMAS Albatross, recently answered a call for help to protect bird life near Nowra.
Sea King Shark 05 crewed by LCDR Tanzi Lea, LEUT Ben White and LSA Bryan Druery transported a tractor across the Shoalhaven River to Numbaa Island.
Squadron Commander Rob Gagnon said the equipment was needed on the island to slash areas where regeneration works were to take place, and remove weed which was strangling native vegetation.
“This is obviously an unusual type of tasking for Navy,” he said.
“However, we were happy to assist when we found out what the project was about, the great outcomes that will be achieved both for the local community and environment, whilst also providing a significant real world training opportunity for our crews.”
Local dairy farmers and community groups Riverwatch, Shoalhaven Landcare, Numbaa Landcare Group, the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority and the Department of Lands have teamed up to help improve the biodiversity of Numbaa Island and the Shoalhaven River catchment.
A local grazier is leasing the island, but that arrangement involves sustainably managing the agricultural and environmental values of Numbaa Island.
National Landcare Program funding will be used to assist with the construction of a stock proof electric fence, as well as revegetating the northern and south-eastern parts of the island where mangroves will be planted to help control bank erosion.