Melbourne Water revitalises Little Yarra River

Melbourne Water is conducting restoration works along a 2km stretch of the Little Yarra River to improve waterway health, protect the river's banks, and provide habitat for native animals.

Melbourne Water is conducting restoration works along a 2km stretch of the Little Yarra River. It seeks to improve waterway health, protect the river’s banks, and provide habitat for native animals.

The works will involve weed removal and planting of native trees, shrubs and grasses. This will improve the overall health of the Little Yarra River by stabilising riverbanks and maintaining water quality that is important for habitat.

The Little Yarra River is part of the Liwik Barring Landscape Conservation Area, the first of its kind in Victoria. It supports a range of unique native plants and animals. The conservation area is made up of a network of narrow streamside reserves which link up with several existing larger public reserves.

Ross Bleazby, Melbourne Water Manager Water Resources & Upper Yarra, says that these restoration works link existing streams and rivers, opening greater corridors.

“This avoids species becoming isolated by allowing them to move through different patches of habitat. This is why waterways are so important. The Little Yarra River has good intact vegetation in some areas. As it is a major tributary of the Yarra that retains good flow, the river is an important drought refuge that a lot of aquatic species can move to during times of drought.”

As part of the project, a new 1km shared path is being constructed. it will connect the Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail to the bridge on the Warburton Highway, across the road from the Blue Lotus Water Garden.

“Opening this path provides the community with great opportunities for activities such as hiking, fishing, and birdwatching. There will be a wetland viewing platform and seating to relax,” says Bleazby.

This project is part of the Healthy Waterways Strategy, which aims to manage the health of rivers, wetlands, and estuaries in the Port Phillip and Westernport region to protect and improve their community value.

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