Februrary 9, 2023 | As Melbourne has grown, its Yarra River has become increasingly hard-edged. To provide much needed wetland habitat floating ecosystems were launched in three locations in Melbourne.
The floating ecosystems are invented by Biomatrix Water. The project is funded by the Victorian Government and is part of a wider City of Melbourne Greenline Project, which will revitalise the north bank of the river. The project was led by WET Systems. Plants and installation support was provided by Balance Enviro.
Wetlands were drained for urban developement
The original landscape of Yarra River – Birrarung included vast wetlands, full of aquatic life, bird life, animals, insects, and riparian vegetation. Riparian habitats are some of the most biodiverse habitats on Earth as they are a meeting place for two ecosystems to come together. This unique and vital environment was known as “temperate Kakadu” and was an important ecosystem for the First Nations people who lived there, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung. As is the case in cities throughout the world as development increased the wetlands were drained for development and hard edges contained the river and port.
Urban development has continued right up to the river’s edge, leaving limited opportunities for the reinstatement of these important natural ecosystems. That’s where Floating Ecosystems offer a unique opportunity to re-integrate natural values back into this urbanised river environment. Within days of installation, these floating ecosystems were already being used as a refuge by breeding swans and ducks and the Rakali, a rarely sighted native water rat.More information