Ecological restoration planning and implementation
Damien is highly experienced in the design and revegetation of restored and constructed wetland and terestrial systems. Whilst working as the Director and Senior Ecologist at Australian Ecosystems Damien successfully established diverse, healthy wetland plant communities in over 300 constructed wetland projects over the past 25 years. This included two of the largest and most complex restoration sites to date in Victoria and Australia: 40 hectare Waterways Estate in Braeside, South East Melbourne and the restoration of 200 hectares of coastal park at the Victorian Desalination Plant, Wonthaggi.
Over this period Damien developed unique wetland and terrestrial restoration skills including:
- Successful germination and production of a variety of species of plants in optimal formats ideally suited for rapid establishment
- Developed knowledge on ecological requirements of plant guilds to ensure planting and recruitment success
- Extensive experience in establishing plants in challenging dynamic wetland environments and polluted stormwater systems
- Developed project design principles for achieving high survival rates and successful coverage of planting zones which in turn minimised long term weed management (planting rates, densities, species selection)
“WRT have shown time and time again that they can turn around degradation and nurture recovery in freshwater wetlands. This is not because they are magicians but because they combine deep familiarity with the ecology of individual plants and animals with knowledge of the ways ecosystems work.”
Dr Tein McDonald AM, Restoration Ecologist and Practitioner, SERA/AABR board member
Revegetation of tree canopy at First, Second and Third Marshes, Koorangie State Game Reserve 2017 to 2018
Client: North Central Catchment Management Authority
Damien Cook co-ordinated and worked with members of the Barapa Barapa community to restore the tree canopy in areas of First, Second and Third Marshes, Koorangie State Game Reserve, planting and guarding 11,000 River Red Gum and Eumong trees.
Ecological restoration of Lake Leaghur, Mc Donalds Swamp, Johnson Swamp and Lake Murphy 2016 to 2022
Client: North Central Catchment Management Authority and Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning
Damien Cook worked with members of the Barapa Barapa community to plan and implement restoration projects at Lake Leaghur, Mc Donalds Swamp, Johnson Swamp and Lake Murphy to replace the tree canopies and restore ground layer structure and biodiversity