Over 50 members of the Breamlea community attended an open forum on Wednesday, 24 July to learn about natural estuary processes, citizen science and the collaborative role of agencies in estuary management.
The event at Breamlea Caravan Park was hosted by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and featured presentations from local and regional government agencies, independent scientists and the State Member for South Barwon, Mr Darren Cheeseman. The event was opened with a powerful Welcome to Country by Wadawurrung Traditional Owner, Melinda Kennedy.
Agency representatives from the Corangamite CMA, Department of Land, Water and Planning, Victorian Fisheries Authority, City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire Council gave presentations on decision making in estuary management, statewide monitoring of estuary condition, responsible fishing and local nature reserve management.
The community also learned about the special role that citizen science volunteers play in looking after estuaries, with presentations on Corangamite CMA’s EstuaryWatch program and Birdlife Australia’s programs to monitor and protect the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot and the vulnerable Hooded Plover.
Presentations were followed by a question and answer session, which was of great community interest because of recent high water levels in the Thompson Creek estuary.
Hayley Vinden from the Corangamite CMA said the feedback from the event was positive. “The local community appreciated hearing about the roles and responsibilities of agencies involved in the management and protection of Thompson Creek estuary.”