Save the St Kilda Mangroves

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The St Kilda Mangroves are dying and need your help and action immediately! Please sign and share this petition far and wide, demanding immediate action be taken to minimise the impact of this catastrophic event.

The old dry gypsum pans immediately beside the St Kilda Mangroves have been filled with hyper-saline brine which is mobilising acid from the bottom of the pans as it leaks out into the tidal wetlands. It has had a devastating effect on the area, with hectares of mangroves and saltmarsh dying along a seven-kilometre front between St Kilda and the estuary of the Little Para.

The saltmarshes are hugely important habitat for birds – shorebirds, Neophema parrots, samphire thornbills and whiskered (marsh) terns, to name just a few. The area is so important it is part of the International Bird Sanctuary (Winaityinaityi Pangkara) National Park and the saltmarshes are a Protected Ecological Community under the Commonwealth EPBC Act.

The mangroves and saltmarshes are vital hatcheries and juvenile nurseries for the fishing industry and for recreational fishermen. The estuaries passing through the impact zone have also become hypersaline. Fish that breed at sea and return to land, like congolli and galaxias, will not be able to migrate till the salinity of the estuaries returns to normal. The St Kilda Mangroves are also an integral part of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and the Barker Inlet-St Kilda Aquatic Reserve.

The SA Department of Mines and Energy supervise the salt mining operations. So far, action to cease the impacting activity has not been taken. The SA Department for the Environment and Water manage the National Park but have been notably absent in public discussion of the deaths of these important habitats.

Action is needed to immediately stop this impact. Rehabilitation can only occur after the impacting activity is halted.

We who care, demand that David Speirs, the SA Minister for the Environment and Water, along with Dan van Holst Pellekaan, the SA Minister for Mines and Energy, act now to immediately halt this impact and start restoration.

*** Please note that any donations given on the change.org site for this petition do not go to help those volunteering their time for this action, it goes to pay for more promotions on the change.org site! ***

Stay up to date with this fight at savestkildamangroves.com

With the utmost of concern,
Alex Mausolf

Independent Photojournalist and Documentary Film-maker

Resident of South Australia