A $70 million action plan dedicated to restoring the health of the Coorong was recently launched by the South Australian Government.
The Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Action Plan sets out strategies to support the Coorong and Lower Lakes to be a healthy, productive and resilient wetland system, while ensuring the region maintains its international significance.
The Plan sets out a working vision to help restore the health of the Coorong by incorporating the experience and knowledge of the local community and First Nations in decision-making.
Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin forms part of the broader Project Coorong initiative, which is taking action to restore the health, vitality and visitor experience of this precious place through environmental projects and initiatives to boost eco-tourism to the region.
A new Coorong Partnership will be established as part of Project Coorong, to provide local communities and groups with an unprecedented opportunity to help shape the work to be undertaken.
The Partnership will comprise a community chairperson and local members with a broad range of interests and expertise including, but not limited to, Aboriginal culture, conservation, recreation, science, agriculture, tourism, fishing and heritage.
The Plan sets out immediate actions that will improve the ecology, knowledge and management of the Coorong and the Coorong Partnership will be instrumental in implementing the Action Plan.
Restoring a healthy Coorong is critical for the broader Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Ramsar site, First Nations, local communities, the regional economy, the overall health of the Murray-Darling Basin and ultimately, the success of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
The Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin Action Plan outcomes will be delivered through a series of inter-related projects, which include:
- Implementing on-ground actions to avoid further loss and support the recovery of aquatic plant and waterbird communities in the Coorong;
- Undertaking scientific trials and investigations to address critical knowledge gaps relating to water quality, aquatic plant health and nutrient and food web dynamics;
- Optimising and integrating water delivery and management systems that are based on better, real time monitoring data and information;
- Investigating the feasibility of long-term infrastructure options to determine which have the potential to provide the greatest ecological benefit to the Coorong;
- Partnering with First Peoples to apply their cultural knowledge, values and interests to shape, inform and implement projects, and create employment opportunities; and
- Partnering with communities to draw on local knowledge and experience, build capacity for involvement in project implementation and foster environmental stewardship.
The Coorong Partnership will be established to provide important community insight, ideas and perspectives, and help make decisions to ensure the management of the Coorong meets community needs and expectations.
For more information visit the Project Coorong website.