Hello – welcome to Mutton Cove

Thanks and farewell to First Friend Cheryl Karnaitis (October 23rd, 2017)

Friends of Mutton Cove and several DEWNR staff met at the southern end to do some weeding and share a farewell morning tea with Cheryl Karnaitis, thanking her and celebrating her nineteen years of dedicated service to Mutton Cove Conservation Reserve. Given the flooding of the Reserve Cheryl will leave the area, visiting when she can.


More widespread flooding apparent at Mutton Cove (July 2nd, 2017)

With two breaches of the seawall at Mutton Cove, inundation is occurring more readily. Third and fourth breaches seem likely, depending on weather events. (First breach is closer to ASC)

Second breach at Mutton Cove

Second breach at Mutton Cove. mid tide 27.6.17

No Protection for Mutton Cove Conservation Reserve (January 9, 2017)

The State Government has confirmed, via correspondence with local MP Stephen Mullighan in late December, that the levee bank at Mutton Cove Conservation Reserve will not be restored. The reserve is subject to tidal flows and as the breaches widen then progressively the reserve will be more comprehensively inundated.

Community members are saddened by

  • the likely loss of some saltmarsh habitat, the carbon it stored and many of the creatures it supported e.g. invertebrates and reptiles.
  • the loss of ready access to the River front and the disintegration of the walking trails
  • the ultimate futility of their efforts in planting and weeding and caring for the Reserve.

All around the world, environmental assets are at risk in response to rising sea levels and adverse weather events. There will be many decisions as to whether to ‘retreat’ or ‘defend’ and the loss of Mutton Cove Conservation Reserve seems part of a broader picture of environmental and community loss.

Community members and other stakeholders are also concerned about the risks to land, roads and energy infrastructure at/near Mutton Cove.

Restricted access to Mutton Cove (November 29, 2016)

Multiple restrictions are in place, limiting access

  • Shoreline access (east side) is restricted by the breach of the seawall
  • Roads adjoining the northern and southern boundaries are closed to the public, while a contractor undertakes dredging work for the ASC
  • Flooding of most of the Reserve means that walking tracks may no longer be in place and/or are unsafe

Mutton Cove can still be viewed from the public access point, on the western boundary, on Mersey Road.

Widening breach and more impending (Sept 17, 2016)

Breach at southern end 14.9.16

Breach at southern end 14.9.16

Another breach about to happen 14.9.16

Another breach about to happen 14.9.16

Discussion of future of Mutton Cove (August 3, 2106)
A meeting was held yesterday to discuss the breach and how it’s increasing, as is the extent and duration of inundation, and what that means for the environment, for public safety and infrastructure protection. Representatives from local community groups, from ENet and Sea Gas, plus Council staff met with DEWNR officers. The infrastructure companies and Council will advise the State Government of the implications and risks to their infastructure from this unmanaged breach.

Changing Mutton Cove (July 12, 2016)
The Port River broke the levee bank on May 9th and since then a new channel is widening the existing creek, high tides (around 2.7m ) have been flooding about 90% of the Reserve and the levee bank is close to breaking in several more places. Do take care if walking at Mutton Cove!

View from western boundary, off Mersey Road

After breach: view from western boundary at high tide June 2016

Before breach: photo from weekendnotes 2013

Before breach: photo from weekendnotes 2013

Check News to see more how Mutton Cove has been changing in the last two months.

Film about Mutton Cove (April 2016)
A fantastic new film by Jenny Hiscock provides a visual history of Mutton Cove from the mid 1960s to the present and a proposed response – Living Shoreline – to the challenges of erosion along the riverbank.

Check News (2015):

  • Could planting mangroves be part of the solution to the impending breach of the levee bank at Mutton Cove – see report by Peri Coleman
  • Could a ‘Living Shoreline’ protect Mutton Cove?