May Magic on the Mitchell River: Community paddle adventures

On a perfect May morning, community members gathered along the banks of the Mitchell River for the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority’s (CMA) Mitchell River Community Paddle.

The sun was shining, warming participants as they prepared for the paddle along the lower Mitchell River. Participants of all ages donned life jackets, paddles in hand and set out on kayaks from the Picnic Point reserve to Howitt Park.

The event was organised to highlight the East Gippsland CMA and partners’ river health projects along all reaches of the river.

“Our rivers are lifelines for our communities, providing habitat for wildlife, recreational opportunities, and essential resources” said East Gippsland CMA CEO, Bec Hemming.

Ongoing work includes enhancing a targeted priority area along the Mitchell River floodplain, spanning from Glenaladale to Lind Bridge just upstream of Bairnsdale. Priority frontages along the lower Mitchell River have been identified for stock exclusion fencing initiatives. Weed control and revegetation efforts will also be carried out.

Over the past three years, a collaborative effort involving multiple partners has concentrated on enhancing and diversifying an area along the lower Mitchell River, from the Lind Bridge to the Highway Bridge.

The dedicated efforts of partners including Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), the Bairnsdale Urban Landcare Group, Eastwood Landcare Group, Gippsland Grammar Junior Campus and the East Gippsland Shire Council has seen improved species habitat, wetland restoration, weed control and improved community access to recreational and community assets.

“By working together, we can continue the work we do ensuring our rivers remain resilient for generations to come”, said Bec.

These projects are funded as part of the Victorian Government’s $248 million investment into improving the health of waterways and catchments in regional Victoria.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout East Gippsland and pay our respects to them, their culture and their Elders past and present.