Serpentine River Action Plan

The Serpentine River Action Plan was prepared in partnership with the Peel Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC) with funding provided by the Alcoa Foundation under the Connecting Corridors and Communities: Restoring the Serpentine River project.

The RAP addresses approximately 38 km of river from the Lowlands Nature Reserve to the Peel-Harvey Estuary, divided into eight (8) reaches that vary from meandering natural channels, to artificial drains to estuarine systems.

The RAP was prepared based on field inspections of the reaches and desktop analysis of aerial imagery and previous investigations. Each reach was assessed in accordance with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s River Restoration Manual (WRC, 1999), specifically the Pen-Scott method that grades foreshore between grades A (pristine) and D (ditch). Scoring of the foreshore condition allowed for determination of priority areas for rehabilitation. The assessment also includes consideration of community and cultural values, summarising these in each reach and considering them in management opportunities.

The majority of the river demonstrated the impacts of land use pressures and the construction of levee systems. Common themes for management of the river emerged from the field and desktop assessment, consistent with the objective of the Connecting Corridors and Communities: Restoring the Serpentine River project. Recommendations were provided including opportunities to restore the ecological condition of the river and engagement with the community to increase knowledge and appreciation of the value of the Serpentine River.

Along with the Serpentine RAP, Urbaqua has also prepared the Hotham Williams River Action Plan with PHCC. Preparation of the RAPs demonstrates our experience with:

  • Assessing and understanding the geomorphology and ecology of modified waterways;
  • Preparation of rehabilitation recommendations and concepts;
  • Appreciating community and cultural values; and,
  • Working with catchment management organisations.