Bega Valley Shire Council will run a series of community information sessions this month to explain its policies and procedures for managing intermittently closing and opening lakes or lagoons (ICOLL) entrances throughout the Shire.
Council’s Coastal Management Officer, Kyran Crane, said that over the past year, Council has been reviewing the procedures for opening the ICOLLs and has formalised its “Entrance Opening Policies” for the lakes that require, or have in the past required, mechanical intervention.
There has been a comprehensive review of environmental factors and summary policies developed for seven of the shires ICOLLs – Wallaga Lake, Cuttagee Lake, Bega River, Wallagoot Lake, Back Lake, Curalo Lagoon and Wonboyn Lake.
“World-wide, ICOLLs are quite rare and the NSW south coast is home to most of Australia’s ICOLLs and, probably, most of the world’s,” he said.
“Bega Valley Shire has 24 of the 70 ICOLLs in NSW and seven of these have required Council to artificially open the entrance in the past,”
“We are committed to the health of our local estuaries and are focused on moving towards less artificial entrance intervention into the future,”
“However, there are established water level trigger heights for each ICOLL that requires it to be opened artificially and these are based on trying to find the balance between allowing the ICOLLs to follow their natural patterns and nuisance flooding and inundation of public and private assets,” Mr Crane said.
Anyone interested in learning more about these policies can attend an information session at the following locations.
Bega River and Wallagoot (session 1) on 16 May from 2pm to 6pm at the Tathra Surf Club;
Curalo Lagoon on 17 May from 2pm to 6pm at the Eden Library;
Back Lake & Wallagoot (session 2) on 18 May from 2pm to 6pm at Bega Valley Regional Training Centre, Merimbula (formerly the Auswide building);
Wonboyn Lake on 19 May from 3pm to 6pm at the Wonboyn Fire Shed; and
Wallaga Lake and Cuttagee Lake on 20 May from 2.30pm to 6.30pm at the Bermagui Library.
Each session will be attended by representatives from Council, the Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Fisheries and Water Research Laboratory (project consultant).
They will be run as informal drop in sessions so booking is not required – just show up in the time slots mentioned.
For more information phone Council’s Environmental Services Section on 6499 2222.