Gustav Creek Rehabilitation, Magnetic Island, Townsville

Gustav Creek Rehabilitation, Magnetic Island, Townsville

Site description/Project Background

Gustav Creek runs through an urbanised area of Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island. The creek was historically well utilised by the surrounding community who swam, fish and recreated in and along its banks. In recent years the creek became clogged with sediment and weeds which led the local residents and a local environment group to approach Townsville City Council with an idea to return flows back to the creek by removing the weeds and sediment. In response TCC worked closely with the community and successfully returned Gustav Creek to a functioning waterway.

Key Practices:

  • Developed a Catchment Scale Management Plan, and a Reach Scale Works Management Plan
  • Acquired government funding and permits to undertake the work
  • Mechanically removed weeds and sediment and reformed a low flow channel with deep pools along a 1km section of creek
  • Revegetated the creek banks

The community engagement process was the key to the success of this project and involved:

  • Community engagement through meetings, workshops, and planning activities,
  • Community and stakeholder involvement in the development of the management plan
  • Community participation in weed management and revegetation activities
  • Community workshops on property scale weed management and bank stabilisation techniques
  • Establishment of a Creekwatch Group with local residents and the school to continue water quality monitoring activities, post rehabilitation
  • Installation of educational signage to promote the project to residents and Island visitors.

Outcomes & Success:

  • Gustav Creek Management Plan was successfully developed and implemented
  • Aquatic habitat values were restored
  • Hydrological flows were restored
  • Community participation was successful and contributed over 1000 volunteer hours. As a result the community continues to care for the creek.

Issues and/or constraints, Lessons learned during the project’s life cycle.

  • A culvert at the mouth of Gustav Creek, where it enters Nelly Bay harbour, continues to create a barrier to sediment movement and as a result this system requires continued maintenance to keep sediment from accumulating.
  • Background nutrient levels in the upper undisturbed catchment are high – this created some challenges when relocating sand from sediment traps to the beach
  • Use of broadleaf species to reduce maintenance and strategic machine access points have been very successful
  • Effective microorganisms have been utilised to expedite organic content breakdown in sand removed for redepositing on the beach
  • Sand deposition is seasonably variable and often outside of the constructed basins (low flow areas close to the mouth) – again, machine access was very important and successful addition

Project costs – approximately $100,000

Project monitoring approaches and/or results

The local Creekwatch Group continues to monitor water quality and report results to Council on an on-going basis.

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