Turtle Island launched at Glenbrook Lagoon

A floating eco habitat designed to provide a safe nesting place for turtles at Glenbrook Lagoon was launched on March 10.

Turtle Island - a collaboration between Blue Mountains City Council, Western Sydney University and local volunteers - was a pilot project funded by the NSW Premier's Office and council.

"This pilot project has already seen much success, with turtle eggs discovered recently," said Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill.

"Glenbrook Lagoon is home to a number of turtle species, including Eastern Long-neck and Sydney Basin turtles. Turtles have been facing an uncertain future, as foxes destroy 95 per cent of their nests, but the island is providing a refuge."

Leading expert in turtles, Western Sydney University's Dr Ricky Spencer, who helped co-ordinate the project, attended the launch along with council staff, bushcare volunteers and students from St Finbar's Primary School, Glenbrook Primary School and Blue Mountains Grammar.

Local primary students have been involved in environmental studies at Glenbrook Lagoon, including council Bioblitz events, and turtle studies.

"Glenbrook Lagoon is a haven for remnant bushland, it's an active bushcare site and a valued recreation point for the community," said the mayor.

"Council has an ongoing commitment to restore the ecological condition of Glenbrook Lagoon and the lagoon is now free from major infestations of water weeds which plagued it for many years."

Turtles play an important role in the ecosystem at the lagoon, acting like vacuum cleaners of the water body.

"The Lagoon is rich with wildlife - native fish, eels, frogs and a remarkable array of birdlife," said the mayor. "Water quality in the lagoon is closely monitored by council and officers have put incredible effort into addressing all sources of pollution within the catchment."

Turtle habitats, a predesigned structure that includes plastic tubing, aquatic plants, sands and geotextile, are being installed at locations throughout NSW.