Cattai Wetlands will be open to the public from Monday, November 30 after making a significant recovery from drought and bushfires.
"Paperbarks are re-sprouting and the wetlands are once again full of water providing a wonderland for hundreds of waterbirds including the black swans and their cygnets," MidCoast Council's sustainability and natural assets coordinator, Tanya Cross said.
"Koalas, which have not been seen for many years, have also made a return to the wetlands, and kangaroos and wallabies have been making good use of the drinking stations that were set up after the bushfires, it's all really positive."
More than 200 metres of timber boardwalk has been rebuilt and a number of signs replaced in readiness for the reopening of Cattai Wetlands to the public.
The wetlands have been closed for more than a year, after sustaining significant damage, both environmental and structural, during the bushfires of 2019.
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Extensive areas of the wetland and surrounding vegetation were also burnt which resulted in damage to a large number of trees along the walking tracks, posing a safety risk to the public.
These trees have now been made safe following a risk assessment by council's tree management officer and remedial works have also been undertaken by a professional arborist.
Prior to the bushfires Cattai Wetlands was already suffering greatly from the effects of one of the worst droughts on record which left the wetlands and Coopernook Creek completely dry.
The compounding impacts of the fire together with the lowering of the groundwater table also resulted in some of the highest acidity levels recorded for some time following the flood event in February/March this year.
However council staff are pleased with the progress so far and say Cattai Wetlands is showing good signs of recovery.
Staff have also been making intensive efforts to control environmental weeds which flourished after the bushfires, along with a feral deer control program, with funding provided though the NSW Coastal and Estuary Grants Program - Bushfire Affected Coastal Waterways and Council's Environmental Rate.
"Our team, along with many other agencies, has been working really hard to rejuvenate Cattai and we're all delighted to see how far it has come," Tanya said.
"And it will be great to see the public once again enjoying this wonderful natural asset."
Cattai Wetlands is open from 8am to 3pm weekdays and 7am to 5pm weekends. Visitors are advised to take precautions against mosquitoes.
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