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1999 News Archive

Attention Focusses on Taren Point Wetlands

30 November

Release of the new Plans of Management for Towra Point has not only focussed attention on Towra but also on the entire wetland system of southern Botany Bay. Taren Point wetlands are located on the other side of Woolooware Bay to Towra Point and contain stands of mangroves as well as significant mudflats. The mudflats are habitat for a number of threatened shorebird species some which have been listed as an Endangered Ecological Community under the Threatened Species Conservation Act.

The Plans have recommended that land at Taren Point be acquired for inclusion in the Nature Reserve and within the area covered by the Ramsar agreement. Groups such as Taren Point Wetland Group and Kurnell Regional Environment Planning Council have been pursuing the issue fairly strongly in recent months.

Lend Lease Help Out at Weedy Pond

23 September

A group of almost 40 Lend Lease employees have this week contributed their Annual Community Day to the Weedy Pond Rehabilitation Project. The group assisted on the work site by removing significant areas of lantana from around the pocket of rainforest and the wetland. In the process they also widened the corridor of rehabiltated bushland that had been created between two shorelines of the Reserve. The group also assisted with removal of weeds along Towra Beach during the day. Click here to find out more.

Draft Plan of Management Released

16 August

The New Draft Plan of Management for the Towra Point Wetlands has been launched at an official ceremony held today. Two documents were launched by the NSW Minister for the Environment, Mr Bob Debus and the Federal Member for Cook, Mr Bruce Baird. The documents launched are:
  • Draft Strategic Plan (Towra International Wetlands)

  • Draft Plan of Management (Towra Point Nature Reserve)

The official launch included a boat tour of the wetlands and was attended by representatives from all levels of government, community and environment groups, conservationists, Towra volunteers, and by local and Sydney-wide media. Members of the public will now have an opportunity to comment on the Plans. An overview of the Plans as well as a submission form are now available on this site. You can find out more details by clicking here.

Funding Commitment for Erosion EIS

16 August

At the official launch of the new Draft Management Plans for Towra, a new funding commitment was made by both the State and Federal Governments. They have both commited $25,000 each towards the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement on the long-term solution to the erosion problems that are being experienced along Towra Beach. A submerged offshore breakwater has been identified as the preferred option costing between $2m and $4m.

Update on Damage to Towra Beach

16 August

Recent wild wind storms along the coast have caused extensive damage to stretches of Towra Beach. In particular, areas near Towra Lagoon have been badly affected. The photo shows the impact erosion has had on Towra Beach in recent years. In 1997/98 a sandbag wall was erected to provide some protection to the lagoon but this wall, along with the lagoon, has been severely damaged.

The wall was designed to be a temporary measure to allow decision-makers time to assess options for a long-term solution to the erosion problem. The wall has had to cope with two 1 in 20 year storm events in less than 12 months.  As a result of dredging in Botany Bay, 30m of beach has been lost in the last 25 years.

The recent storms have thus created an open channel between Botany Bay and the lagoon which will necessitate urgent remedial action to prevent wave action from impacting on terrestrial areas behind the lagoon.

We will continue to provide updates as action is taken.

International Media Visits Towra

14 July

Ms Margarida Serra, a journalist from the Portuguese radio station TSF has this week visited Towra to include details about the Reserve in a story on important ecosystems in this region. The station is doing a series of programs on ecosystems in five different parts of the world. The reporter took a particular interest in Towra Point as a result of this website.

As a guest of Sutherland Shire Environment Centre (SSEC), Margarida was given a guided tour of the Nature Reserve by representatives from the Centre, National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Sutherland Shire Council. Margarida also conducted a number of interviews with Geoff Ross from NPWS (below, left) and Simon Kimberley from SSEC (below, right)

The final story will appear on Portuguese radio in September.

You can see some more images of Margarida's visit by clicking here.

New Funding for Shorebird Actionplan

30 June

National Parks and Wildlife Service have been successful in attracting over $24,000 in funding from the Natural Heritage Trust to develop a Botany Bay Shorebird Action Plan. The project will aim to seek support from various areas for the long-term conservation of shorebirds in Botany Bay. This will also involve
  • building an information base for wetland management within Botany Bay,

  • examining short and long term movements of migratory bird species that use the Bay, and

  • determining and categorising the respective importance of each shorebird roost, forage and nest site within the Bay.

The project is being headed by NPWS Senior Technical Officer, Geoff Ross and we hope to have an article or report on the project here later this year

A Breakthrough at Weedy Pond

4 June

A group of young unemployed people from the Green Corps 2000 program have this week helped to create a corridor of weed-free bushland linking two shorelines of Towra Point Nature Reserve. They were working as part of the Weedy Pond Rehabilitation Project which has been undertaken since August 1998. The aim of the project was to remove lantana understorey from around a freshwater wetland and pocket of rainforest. Progressive weed removal has now created a corridor of rehabilitated bushland and you can find out more by clicking here.

Rare Bird Sighting at Towra

6 May

A pair of Blue-winged Parrots has been sighted on a number of occasions with the Nature Reserve. This bird prefers saltmarsh habitat in western NSW, Victoria, and South Australia. This was the first time the species had been seen in the area for 20 years which reinforces the importance of Towra's saltmarsh as a valuable habitat to which species will travel hundreds of kilometres to utilise.

Thanks to Sutherland Shire Council for this information

Weedy Pond Goes Global

31 March

A group of international backpackers from the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers have been assisting work on the Weedy Pond Rehabilitation Project. A group of about 10 from a variety of countries including UK, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden helped to remove invasive weeds as part of the Coastcare-funded project. The project which has been undertaken since August 1998 has seen significant ecological improvements, which you can see by clicking here.

Little Tern Breeding Statistics for 1998/98 season

22 February

The National Parks and Wildlife Service management of (Towra) Spit Island as a Little Tern breeding habitat has yielded some excellent breeding numbers in the 1998/99 season. This has been as a result of the site preparation work undertaken by volunteers and the research and monitoring work of NPWS Technical Officer Geoff Ross.
Here are some of this season's statistics for the Little Terns at Towra:
Number of Nests 73
Number of Eggs 163
Number of chicks banded 121
Number of birds fledged 43
Number fledged last year 34
Predation of the chicks by other birds such as gulls and ravens continues to be a problem but extra efforts have been made this year to curb these attacks. Thanks must go to Geoff Ross from NPWS for this information. We now have some brand new photos of the Little Terns on Towra Spit Island and you can see them in the Little Tern Management section.

Major Tree Planting Sucessful

18 February

In recent months up to 3000 native seedlings have been planted in parts of the Reserve as part of the regular bush regeneration activities. Areas along the Causeway and at Quibray Bay have been the major replanting sites. The weather has been ideal and about 70% of the seedlings along the Causeway have survived. Further replantings are planned for other sites including Weedy Pond. For more information on Bush Regeneration click here.

Towras Coastcare Funding Extended

22 January

As part of its 1999 round of funding, Coastcare has recently allocated over $10,000 to allow work to continue on the Weedy Pond Rehabilitation Project. The 1998 stage involved removal of primary infestations around a pocket of littoral rainforest and freshwater wetland at Towra. The 1999 stage will involve the creation of a corridor of rehabilitated bushland linking two shorelines of the Reserve. Click here for more information.

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