Monday 22 June 2015
While it’s a common sight for the entrances of local lakes and lagoons to open and close with storms and strong tides, it may come as a surprise that such events are fairly rare in Australia.
According to Council’s Coastal Management Officer, Kyran Crane, the Bega Valley Shire has 24 of the 70 Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons (ICOLLs) found in NSW.
He said that water levels in open and closed lakes and lagoons have a large impact on estuarine ecosystems, recreational activities and some of the Shire’s most successful industries.
“With the management of these valuable natural assets in mind Council has commenced a program of reviewing the approval and operational processes relating to ICOLL entrance management,” he said.
“Natural ecosystems and industry are reliant on the effective management of our lakes and lagoons, and we have engaged the University of New South Wales Water Research Laboratory (WRL) to further develop the policies and procedures around managing some key sites.
“A major part of WRL’s research will be to seek community input where local knowledge and personal experience will be used to guide the end result.
“We will be holding a number of drop-in sessions for people to learn more about the project and to share their knowledge of local lakes and lagoons. These are scheduled for later in the year and details will be widely promoted following finalisation of dates and locations.
“Along with the NSW government we currently manage ICOLL entrances at Wallaga Lake, Bega River, Merimbula Back Lake, and Lake Curalo, and we have previously been involved in managing Wonboyn Lake, Wallagoot Lake and Cuttagee Lake entrances.
“Each one of the ICOLL entrances requires different management procedures so we are looking forward to hearing from people who live and work around these lakes and lagoons.
“It’s an interesting project to work on considering that world-wide, ICOLLs are quite rare. The NSW south coast is home to most of Australia’s ICOLLs and probably most of the world’s, and 24 of the 29 lakes and lagoons in the Bega Valley Shire have entrances that intermittently open and close,” Mr Crane said.
For more information on the review, please contact Council’s Environmental Services section on 6499 2222.