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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

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Estuary management receives boost

Thursday 19 January 2017 Merimbula Lake and Back Lake, where management plans are being reviewed.

Local estuary management has received a boost with Bega Valley Shire Council and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage funding a review of old estuary management plans and the creation of a new plan for the Bermagui River.

Key to the progress of the project is a state government grant of $125,000 that will go towards the new Bermagui management plan and reviews of the Wallaga Lake, Merimbula/Back Lakes and Lake Curalo plans.

The plans will form part of Council’s overall Coastal Management Program that ensures best practice management of the estuaries, foreshores and wider catchments.

Coastal Management Officer Kyran Crane said the plans being reviewed are some of the oldest in NSW and that many of the management actions within them have been completed.

“The aim of reviewing and creating new plans is to update our understanding of the estuary processes, tackle pressures, protect natural environments and work with the community to improve recreational amenity.

“We will be working with Matt Blacka, a local consultant from the UNSW for the management plan reviews, and with Nicholas Yee from Bega’s Elgin Associates to develop the Bermagui River plan. It is expected the reviews and new plan will take about 18 months to complete,” he said.

“An important part of developing the Coastal Management Program will be community and stakeholder involvement through the establishment of advisory focus groups for each estuary.

“Key agencies that are involved in estuary management will be invited to attend focus group meetings, and we are also seeking people from local communities to join the focus groups,” Mr Crane said.

Interested people should submit a brief expression of interest via email to kcrane@begavalley.nsw.gov.au outlining background, interest and what you can contribute to the project. Candidates should also nominate which estuary focus group they are interested in representing.

The groups will meet three times during each project with the first meeting planned for March 2017. For more information about the project or to register your details to receive updates go to the programs website.

Drop-in sessions to allow greater community input will be held later in the project at times to be advised. Expressions of interest will close on Monday 6 February 2017 and Focus Group membership will be finalised by mid-February.

For more information contact Kyran Crane on 6499 2222.

Photograph: Merimbula Lake and Back Lake, where management plans are being reviewed.

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