150 TONNES OF HARDWOOD SET TO STOP CLYDE CREEK EROSION

150 TONNES OF HARDWOOD SET TO STOP CLYDE CREEK EROSION

One hundred fifty tonnes of salvaged hardwood have been engineered into ‘log jam’ structures to halt heavy erosion in Clyde Creek, Gladstone. This is the first time the environmental solution has
been used in the area.

It is hoped that this project could be the first successful attempt to install log jams in a tidal estuary in Queensland. The Queensland Government has funded the project through the Department of
Agriculture and Fisheries as part of offsets funding. Five of the structures – each made up of 17 hardwood logs and weighing 25 to 30 tonnes – were lowered into Clyde Creek 10 months ago.

Aquatic ecologist Matt Moore from, Catchment Solutions, said the banks along the Clyde Creek had been retreating at an alarming rate of 0.25 metres each year.
The log jams installed will combat erosion and are designed to deflect water away from the riverbank back into the centre of the watercourse. They will also provide habitat for recreational fish
species like barramundi and mangrove jack and will give marine plants such as mangroves a chance to rehabilitate. “The log jams give the creek bank a break,” Mr Moore said. “Previously, when fast water hit the bank in Clyde Creek, it was eroding badly, dropping sediment into the creek and out to sea. This solution benefits both the local waterway and ultimately, the wider marine system. It means less pollutants washed out.”

Mr Moore said installing the log jams had been a stick-by-stick engineering feat. “On a tidal flat, we can’t use machinery that is too heavy. The process is called stick building– we had a crane putting the logs into position one-by-one before the tide came back and washed us out, “Mr Moore explained.

The log jams are five-storey engineered structures, about 3 metres high, with the logs arranged in a criss-cross pattern. Mr Moore said he was now keen to see the habitat structures replicated in other tidal estuaries and rivers across the state