More than 20 volunteers from the Port Hedland community joined Greening Australia and Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) to help plant 550 mangrove seedlings at De Grey Station on 10-11 September 2016.
The work was done as part of the De Grey River Rehabilitation project, a partnership between Greening Australia and PPA, aimed at rehabilitating an eroding section of the bank at the mouth of the De Grey River, approximately 80km north-east of Port Hedland.
The new mangrove seedlings add to the 1,000 planted in 2014 when the project began, and 250 planted the following year by volunteers, station staff, environmental groups, and PPPA and Greening Australia staff. Both of these plantings included mangrove seedlings from three local species (Avicennia marina, Rhizophora stylosa and Ceriops australis).
A highlight of the day was the discovery by the volunteers that survival rates from the previous year’s top-up planting was up around 75%, with some mangroves measuring over a metre in height and width.
Station owner Mark Bettini was impressed with the results, and said the mangroves were the biggest he had seen in the area.
“There is a lot of natural recruitment in that area but they don’t usually survive too long, it’s nice to see these ones getting so big,” said Mark.
Pip Short, Greening Australia Project Officer, said she was impressed by another year of strong community support for the project.
“It’s been great to see people really invested in this trial. We have had lots of people wanting to come and check on how their mangroves are going, as well as new people eager to help out and get their hands dirty,” said Pip.
“Greening Australia is also thankful to PPA for donating hundreds of mangrove seedlings again, and to its staff who volunteered their time, especially PPA Sustainability Coordinator Nicole Wylie who collects and grows all the seedlings.”
Nicole Wylie, Pilbara Port Authority Sustainability Officer, said the propagation of mangrove seedlings at De Grey Station was a key component of PPA’s successful Mangrove Program.
“PPA is proud to contribute to this important community project and donate mangroves grown in its dedicated mangrove nursery at Port Hedland Port,” said Nicole.
If you are interested in finding out more about this project, or any of Greening Australia’s other programs, please contact Pip Short at [email protected].