So the other day I raged and despaired, and even though I’m not feeling optimistic about the state of things I want to talk about some stuff that is having a positive effect.
The Cooks River is not exactly what one would call clean. It sees a lot of rubbish and waste flow through it which eventually gets out to more open waters. From what I’ve read it used to be a river that people would swim in. Due to the pollution no one swims in it and it likely isn’t safe for organisms that rely on it more than us. However, there is work being done to clean it up.
There are rubbish traps that have been set up at some points along the river and there are efforts to transform the riverbank into something closer to natural riverbanks. It involves a lot of stone and vegetation which helps with filtration, habitat restoration and bank stabilisation. At some parts mangrove habitats are developing which further helps to clean up the waterway; hopefully one day the river will be something that people can swim in again.
In some parts of Sydney there is effort going into restoring and maintaining mangrove systems. Sure, they might not have the most pleasant smell, but they do a lot in keeping waterways clean and healthy, which in turn leads to greater abundance of biota. It also leads to more carbon sequestration over time so long as the systems aren’t removed again.
In La Perouse there is work being done to remove invasive flora for a few reasons; one of which (as far as my understanding goes) is to improve sand dune stabilisation and growth. Doing so also has benefits of habitat diversification (so long as monoculutre-based planting is avoided) which also allows fauna endemic to the area to further spread.
Dune stabilisation and growth is important as it reduces the impact of scouring from storms which in turn allows habitat and systems behind dunes to further stabilise and develop. It also helps to reduce the impacts of sand moving further inland.
These are small things and they are a lot of work, but they are things that are showing signs of success. They, much like other work on environmental restoration are a collective effort and they will pay off over time.
There are plenty of other things out there that people are doing, but these are three things that are easy for me to think of. Things might be dire, but we can still do quite a lot to strengthen the environment and reduce the impacts of climate change. When we work toward looking after the environment it pays off for us and our communities. It pays off for endemic flora and fauna. It’s hard work that has a tangible, long-term result and it’s something that we can actively engage in more than we don’t.
What’s the worst that happens from collective action on environmental restoration? We have cleaner air and a healthier environment?
The time it took to write five-hundred words: 14:58:73
I spent a lot of time thinking about what I was writing and it came through a bit clunky. Definitely could’ve written this better. I feel like the time constraint hurt this a fair bit; aside from being clunky, some of this feels a bit patronising. That said, I think I got some of my point across.
Written at home.