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A decade of connection and healing

The new short film 'A decade of connection and healing' commemorates 10 years of continuous connectivity at the Coorong and Lower Lakes.

Published: 14 December 2021

The Coorong is a long, shallow lagoon located at the end of the River Murray, separated from the Southern Ocean by sand dunes and stretching more than 100 km. It plays an important role in supporting the health of the entire River Murray system and good flows through the mouth of the Murray out to sea ensure salt and nutrients collected through the river’s journey are exported out of the system and do not build up.

The film takes a deep dive into how severely the Coorong and surrounding areas suffered during the millennium drought and how better water management, research and collaboration between community and government is seeing gradual improvements to the Coorong and Lower Lakes.

The video 'A decade of connection and healing' was created by the South Australian Department for Environment and Water and includes interviews with local First Nations, community representatives, scientists and government. The Goolwa barrages are structures that separate the River Murray from the ocean, designed and operated to ensure the lakes and lower reaches of the river remain fresh.

In September 2010, water for the environment was released from upstream storages and delivered to the Coorong to support connectivity. This saw barrages flow as significant River Murray flows refilled the Lower Lakes. Barrage flows were reinstated for the first time in more than 3 years after significant volumes of River Murray flows refilled the Lower Lakes.

Thanks to the South Australian Department for Environment and Water, the public is now able to access daily data through Water Data SA that shows how much water is being released through the barrages. This provides river users and the community with better and more timely information on water availability and the thinking behind water management in South Australia.

Water for the environment has supported a range of ecological outcomes in the Coorong and surrounding areas including an increase in native fish populations in the Lower Lakes and more diadromous fish now able to migrate between their fresh and salt water habitats. But despite positive signs, the Coorong is still highly degraded and additional flows are needed to help with its recovery.

'A decade of connection and healing' was funded by The Living Murray Program, which is jointly funded by the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian and Australian Governments and coordinated by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.

The film contributes to the Project Coorong initiative which is taking action to restore the health, vitality and visitor experience of this important area.

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