The Murray River is the backbone of Australia’s largest River Red Gum forests and major wetlands. These wetlands and forests are home for 35 endangered species and 120 different species of waterbirds. Unfortunately, extensive human and industrial activities have disrupted natural flooding patterns, compromising the health of the river and the surrounding environment. The Living Murray (TLM) program, one of Australia’s largest river restoration programs, aims to protect and restore biodiversity in complex wetland systems within the Murray Darling Basin and deliver cultural outcomes for First Nation peoples.
Arcadis Ecologists collected extensive botanical data across different wetland zones at 72 monitoring sites in all four seasons over a two-year period. This included water depth, water quality, threats, and their impact on the site.
The project established Arcadis as a digital leader in the industry, collecting, processing, and presenting data in a way that had not been done in the 20 years since the program’s inception. The project integrated specialist knowledge, digital leadership, and stakeholder engagement with the Living Murray’s requirements.
Arcadis Ecologists undertook the monitoring during the challenging Covid-19 lockdown periods, demonstrating the team’s dedication to the work and their organizational ability. The data collected, the information gained, and the recommendations made in the final report have assisted decision makers in refining environmental policy to stimulate healthier ecosystems and safeguard this significant area from its historical legacy of impacts and climate change.
Tribes of the Yorta Yorta Nation have lived in and around Barmah-Millewa Forest for up to 30,000 years. The Living Murray program is helping to restore balance to the system by delivering cultural priorities, returning water to the environment, and building water management structures to better deliver water to the 37,000 hectares of significant forests, wetlands, and lakes along the Murray River. It is working with tourism, recreation, forestry and farming industries to improve the river and its floodplains to sustainably benefit the Australian community for future generations.