Hope for damaged mangroves
THESE mangroves near Prospect Bridge at North Creek in Ballina might look dead, but there is still hope for these tough little plants.
WetlandCare Australia program leader Cassie Price said the mangroves were stripped bare by the huge hail storm that hit Ballina at the end of September.
"It was like a small, isolated natural disaster for these mangroves," she said.
"The hail just stripped the mangroves of all their leaves, and the paperbarks as well.
"People have probably also noticed a bad smell coming from the area.
"That's because all of that organic matter from the mangroves and the trees is now sitting on the ground and rotting away.
"It's nothing to be alarmed about.
"Before the storm, this was a really healthy patch of mangroves.
"They will recover, and we believe they will recover quite quickly.
"I think that within 12 months, we will start seeing the mangroves returning to normal.
"However, the mangroves further away from North Creek will take longer to recover than the ones near the water, because they aren't subjected to as much inundation."
Wind gusts of 82kmh were recorded during the peak of the September hail storm, with the State Emergency Service responding to 83 calls for assistance in Ballina, most being related to roof or skylight damage.