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Merimbula & Back Lake Coastal Management Program

The Merimbula and Back Lakes Estuary Management Committee was established by Bega Valley Shire Council and oversaw the completion of the Merimbula Lake and Back Lake Estuary Processes Study in 1995 and the Merimbula Lake and Back Lake Estuary Management Plan in 1997. In 2009 the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water oversaw both the Back Lake Sustainability Assessment and Management Strategy as well as the Merimbula Lake Sustainability Assessment and Management Strategy. In October 2016 BVSC and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage have partnered with specialist consultant the UNSW Water Research Laboratory, to again review the estuary management plan, upgrading it to a new Merimbula Lake and Back Lake Coastal Management Program, consistent with the requirements set out under the new Coastal Management Bill (2016). In December 2016 BVSC will assemble a focus group of stakeholders and community representatives to oversee the development of the new Coastal Management Program, which will aim to:

  1. Review and summarise all available information and reports to develop an up-to-date understanding of the environmental processes and health of the lake

  2. Review estuary management actions from previous plans that have now been completed

  3. Determine if incomplete management actions still require attention

  4. Identify any new issues and pressures for Merimbula and Back Lakes and their catchments

  5. Engage with the local community and stakeholders to determine management aspirations and issues

  6. Propose and evaluate a suite of new management actions that are based on the old plans, analysis of new information and stakeholder feedback

  7. Update all out of date legislation and incorporate any new legislation

  8. Prepare a new series of management action maps and tables expressing the information outlined above