If you would like to be involved in the Estuary Health Project to protect vulnerable estuaries and undertake scientific assessment of ecosystem health & threats, please contact Suzzanne Gray (02 4471 6078) or Allan Broadhurst (02 6493 4495) or send an email to: Admin@sulisit.com.au
This innovative and captivating project enables the citizen scientist to undertake scientific assessment of estuary health & threats, particularly in relation to climate change. Estuary Health Groups include schools and community members, Waterwatch and Landcare/Coastcare group members and industry adjacent to the lakes and estuaries. Members of Candlagan-Tomaga Waterwatch, Bournda Environmental Education Centre and Bermagui Fishermens Cooperative (all successful estuary project proponents) have assisted with workshops at estuaries being studied. The health assessment program utilises techniques from various sources, including Community Environment Network (CEN) Seagrass Monitoring Project, Wetlands Australia Assessment techniques, with NSW Waterwatch Estuary Manuals used as the main reference.
The overall aim of this project is to capture biodiversity and ecosystem health data, to encourage sustainable environmental practices near estuaries, through the ongoing health assessment by the wider community, with findings fed back into natural resource decision-making bodies. This page on the ALCW website is a crucial element of information transfer. Forging stronger links between Natural Resource Managers, other Stakeholders and Estuary Health groups is a key element too, with the help of new funding from the federal government through Caring For Our Country.
This project was initially developed via a partnership with NSW Waterwatch and coastal Catchment Management Authorities. The second phase was funded by the NSW Environment Trust for education and training of community, schools and industry groups on the Far South Coast of NSW. Training workshops for assessing ecosystem health were delivered 2010-2011 for protection of valuable and vulnerable small estuaries and lagoons. Community/Industry Estuary Health Assessment plans were developed and programs established in ten estuaries: Cullendulla, Candlagan and Tomaga, near Batemans Bay, Nangudga, Wallaga, Baragoot, Cuttagee, near Bermagui; Wapengo, Wallagoot and Bournda Lakes, near Tathra. Approximately 3,500 voluntary hours have been contributed to this project already. The new funding enables more training workshops to be delivered. Please contact us if you would like to be involved!