The Seacombe West site is significantly degraded as a result of salt water entering the Gippsland Lakes system in the late 1800s. Conservation and sustainable approaches to this site aim to minimise and halt ongoing degradation. This project extends beyond conservation and sustainability of the site to halt ongoing degradation but also improve the quality of the land through regenerative design.
A key regenerative process in this project will be raising land above the water levels, beyond the salt water, supporting/restoring a more diverse flora and fauna. Islands have been incorporated into the design to create nature reserves that will attract ground nesting birds and small marsupials inaccessible to feral cats, dogs and foxes. Similarly, the creation of some small areas of fresh water wetlands will hopefully attract back the migratory species that visited the area prior to the salination of Lake Wellington.
These new water ways will extend the biodiversity both aquatic and on land.
The Regeneration Process
“Regeneration” is a process of revitalisation, restoration and growth that gives communities and ecosystems life. As such, regeneration does not just maintain Living Environments, it creates prosperity within them.
The LENSES system has been developed to manage the Regenerative process. It involves a series of charrettes that consider:
- Existing conditions
- Flows that affect the location
- Solutions that will develop these flows on a continuous basis.
Seacombe West will be the first Regenerative Designed project in Australia. Regenerative Design principles will deliver regenerating vitality; environmentally, socially and economically to Seacombe West. Dr Dominique Hes from the University of Melbourne will lead the regenerative process with assistance from Professor Brian Dunbar from Colorado State University, USA. A number of charrettes in the early stages of design development in 2016 will be held to ensure collaborative input from a diverse range of stakeholders.