The Lagoon originally covered 500 ha, extending from Swan Street Wollongong, south to Five Islands Rd Cringila, forming the drainage basin of the Allens Creek catchment. Although considerable in size, the Outer Harbour of Port Kembla did not provide suitable year-round anchorage. In 1958, work began on an extension of the Port Kembla shipping area to form the Inner Harbour. The area dredged and filled during the creation of the Inner Harbour encompassed almost the entire area of Tom Thumb Lagoon, and thus, only 5 ha of saltmarsh, tidal mudflats, and ponds remain.
Tom Thumb Lagoon is comprised of an estuarine channel, remnant saltmarsh, and tidal mudflats. The remnant wetland plays a vital role in providing habitat to a range of plant and animal life, including migratory bird species protected under international agreements and the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea).
The influence and range of tidal waters supports a delicate balance of aquatic flora and fauna unique to saltmarsh and mudflat estuaries.
Works being undertaken at Tom Thumb include;
- Maintenance and weeding of pre existing plantings
- Priority weeding in areas posing a threat to the ecological integrity of remnant vegetation in and around the wetlands, particularly the Coastal Salt Marsh
- Revegetation to expand wetland buffers and create bushland connectivity across the site
- Habitat development and enhancement eg building nesting boxes and creating mid water perches for birds such cormorants
- Seed collection from nearby natural areas eg Coniston woodland to build up an indigenous seed bank to conserve local plant populations
- Rubbish removal within and around the wetlands
- Implementation of a water quality monitoring program
Wollongong City Council Bushcare run working days every Monday and Tuesday morning from 6.45am.
Wollongong City Council
To become involved contact the Wollongong City Council Bushcare office on 02 4227 8113