Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Murray Mouth

The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.  ~Marya Mannes, More in Anger, 1958

The rain arrived just before we left Goolwa which created a perfect opportunity to refrain from beach hunting and explore the Goolwa Barrage...

...and the Murray Mouth.

I was intrigued by the number of visitors to the Murray Mouth with comments always in the vein of "it's so sad isn't it! :(" (with appropriate facial expression).  I was intrigued because at the mouth of the river you see the sea moving in and out with its regular tidal activity and lots of water.  Correct me if I'm wrong but it looks similar to last time we visited.  (Yet I confess I am not a long time local so someone could put me to rights).  

The real affects of the drought on the river can be seen at the Goolwa Barrage.  This is the last of many barrages along the river which have been placed in the wake of the Mighty Murray River in order for us to farm, primarily.  I cannot see any ecological reason for the barrages to have been built and I constantly wonder why people marvel at their construction.  Wouldn't it have been better for it all to have been left alone?  All this for human consumption and greed in the process of attaining our perceived needs.

The Goolwa Barrage is holding back the river...or should I say some pools of water and a lot of sand.

This is where you see that we are definitely in drought.  The barrages haven't been able to be opened to allow water to flow through as there has been none to flow.  I am sorry we didn't have the opportunity to see Lake Alexandrina a little further upstream (see map), as I know that this would be considerably lower than when we last visited a couple of years ago.  Water Level and Salinity Predictions for 2009 are quite startling.  The lack of flow is putting the Murray Mouth at risk as sand is building up which may cause the mouth to close.  This will seriously impact the ecosystem of the Coorong.  Thus sand pumping has been in place since 2002.

When you are visiting Goolwa do head on over to Hindmarsh Island and visit the Murray Mouth which is now signed with explanations for visitors.

But be sure to make your way round to the Goolwa Barrage - not so well signposted.  Take a walk, enjoy the magnificent birdlife, wonder along with me where the birds will be living in the future and truly be informed about the state of the Mighty River Murray.   No doubt you'll wonder, along with the rest of us, where on earth the "Mighty" went.  Fortunately it is the Almighty One who is looking after us.

It is certainly very clear that Goolwa needs water now!  If you miss that, as you drive through the town, you must be blind as there are bright red signs up everywhere pleading with us all to save the town, the river and the ecosystem of the Coorong.


Jackie said...

Hi Cee,

wish one day, i can take a pic with my family on this beach.

thanks for sharing such beautiful pics.

Cathy and Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cee said...

Jackie I do hope it is all here in its beautiful state for you to visit and the mouth has not closed over!


Anonymous said...

looks like you had a fab holiday, I didn't realise you could visit the mouth of the Murray and the Goolwa Barrage, thanks for the info shall certainly visit there on our next trip to Goolwa. lol Judy xx

Cee said...

Hi Judy

Thanks for popping in to comment.

You will definitely find the trip to the Barrage and Mouth very informative.


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