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Bega: $1.149 million for bushfire affected coastal waterways

Bega Valley Shire Council is to receive more than $1 million from the NSW government, to ease the impact of the summer bushfires on coastal waterways.

The funding, totalling $1,149,000, will be used for catchment stabilisation and estuarine ecological health protection works at Wonboyn Lake, Bega River, Nullica River, Towamba River, Fisheries Creek, Shadrachs Creek, Wallaga Lake, Murrah River, Cuttagee Lake and Bermagui River.

“The Shire was significantly affected by the summer bushfires, burning around 4,000 square kilometres of land which poses significant threat to waterways due to increased runoff and erosion,” Council’s Coastal Management Officer, Rachel Duczynski said.

“There has been a substantial loss of ecosystems, with damage to forested areas, riparian corridors and wetlands and flow-on effects to terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity.

“With this funding, we will be able to protect the local environment by reducing inputs into the estuary, maintaining water quality and restoring habitat leading to long term sustainability of the estuaries.

“This in turn will benefit our aquaculture, tourism and recreational industries.”

The project will involve:

  • continued sediment and erosion controls

  • estuarine foreshore restoration

  • habitat restoration, including weed control

  • riparian (foreshore) corridor restoration

  • water quality monitoring.

Council was also jointly awarded $427,281, with Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven councils, for the south east catchment and waterways bushfire recovery plan that incorporates the three regions,” Ms Duczynski said.

“This funding will allow us to collaborate on medium and long-term plans to guide soil and water management controls and other rehabilitation works.

“We will assess key threats and future risks so we can establish best-practice management options for each of the fire affected catchments.”

Above: Wonboyn Lake, after the devastating summer bushfires.