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Story of how severely the Coorong suffered during drought told in new film | VIDEO

A DECADE of continuous connectivity at the Coorong and Lower Lakes since the end of the Millennium Drought been celebrated with the release of a short film.

'A Decade of Connection and Healing' is based on a commemoration event held in October 2020, which coincided with 10 years since barrage flows were reinstated following the drought.

Significant volumes of River Murray flows refilled the Lower Lakes.

The short film - released by the State Government - includes interviews with scientists and community representatives.

The film contributes to the State Government's Project Coorong initiative, designed to take action to restore the health, vitality and visitor experience of this important area.

The release tells the story of how severely the Coorong and surrounding areas have suffered over time and how better water management, research and collaboration is seeing gradual improvements to the region..

Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth (CLLMM) program leader Carol Schmidt said the film's theme connection; the flow from river to sea and the connection between people and the environment

"We want people to understand the plight of the Coorong and just how important continuous flow is all the way along the River Murray Channel down to the Murray Mouth," Ms Schmidt said.

"While we have had some periods of good flows, much of the site, particularly the Coorong, is still degraded and in a period of recovery and there is still lots of work to be done.

"More than 12 years of data collected has increased our understanding of how the system responds to flows. We now have a greater ability to fine-tune the timing, location, duration and extent of flows to target certain species and outcomes - allowing more effective use of water for the environment."

The Decade of Connection and Healing film also acknowledges the various stakeholders committed to working together to improve the local environment and the local community.

Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation's Yarluwar-Ruwe (sea-country) project coordinator Rick Hartman, said the Meeting of the Waters site and the Murray Mouth is a very important place for the Ngarrindjeri.

"It's a very important place for us to maintain connection and we need to keep it healthy so we can keep our people healthy," Rick said.

Local, state and federal stakeholders met in Goolwa to celebrate ten years of connection and healing for the Lower Lakes and Coorong, following the Millennium Drought.

Local, state and federal stakeholders met in Goolwa to celebrate ten years of connection and healing for the Lower Lakes and Coorong, following the Millennium Drought.

Commercial fisher Garry Hera-Singh said the rural communities are always going to struggle if you haven't got a healthy environment.

"The bandwagon we need to get on is do whatever we can to improve the Lower Lakes and Coorong and it's really simple... it's more water," Garry said.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the improved health of the Coorong and Lower Lakes was a direct result of the delivery of water for the environment.

"During the Millennium Drought the Coorong and the Lower Lakes were on the verge of environmental and ecological collapse," Minister Speirs said.

"Since then we have seen a significant improvement in the health of this internationally-recognised wetland and to have more than 10 years of continuous connectivity is something to celebrate.

"This is just another example of one of the success stories of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan with the natural environment in the wetland recovering slowly with the help of water for the environment which has supported a range of ecological outcomes.

"Diadromous fish are now migrating between fresh and salt water with increasing numbers, and native fish populations continue to increase in the Lower Lakes.

"With this film we wanted to tell the story of the impacts of a changing climate and over-extraction of water; while celebrating the ecological, social, economic and cultural recovery that is occurring at this iconic Ramsar wetland."

The film was funded by The Living Murray Initiative, one of Australia's most significant river restoration programs.

'A Decade of Connection and Healing' is available to watch at https://youtu.be/LRKU78GFRNQ