Intertidal Wetlands-Geography

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Evaluate the traditional and contemporary management strategies with particular reference to the intertidal wetlands ecosystem at Bicentennial Park, Homebush Bay, Sydney. For many years wetlands were seen as only a mosquito infested area. Nowadays they are highly valued ecosystems that are being protected for future generations of wildlife, and also people. A wetland is an area of land that is temporarily or permanently inundated. Sydney’s Bicentennial Park is home to 58ha of intertidal wetlands. Sydney Bicentennial Park is located within Homebush Bay (33 51' S, 115 33' E) and is approximately 12 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD. The intertidal wetland has formed along the southern edge of the Parramatta River. The 58 ha intertidal wetland is made up of 40 ha of mangrove forest, 10 ha of open, shallow water- the waterbird refuge and 8 ha of saltmarsh.

The wetlands are the largest residual intertidal wetland located on the Parramatta River. Over 135 species of birds have been recorded at the park, including 5 rare and endangered species. The area is home to the saltmarsh plant ‘Lampranthus tegens’. The plant is found in only four known areas, the Sydney Bicentennial Park wetland being one of these areas. The size of the wetland ecosystem has decreased significantly due to human advancement and land use. The once abundant shoreline has been dramatically altered disrupting the ecosystem. This impact has led to traditional and contemporary management strategies being utilized for protection and conservation of the intertidal wetland for the future fauna, flora and people.

The traditional indigenous cultures, specifically the Wangal Clan, have a close affiliation with the land. Not only did it provide plentiful resources for their survival, their religious beliefs illustrate them as the caretakers of the land. They were able to appreciate the area and understand its value, unlike the contemporary industrialized societies. The intertidal wetland offered...
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