Why do we need a coastal management program for the Manning?
The Manning River Catchment and Estuary is one of the greatest natural assets of the MidCoast region. With its vast rivers, waterways and diverse landscapes it supports extraordinary biodiversity and ecological values. The catchment contains World Heritage areas in the Barrington Tops, endangered ecological communities, iconic and threatened species. The Manning River Catchment and Estuary is vital to the local economy. It provides social and cultural values that connect and support our community and those that visit the region.
The Manning River Estuary Coastal Management Program is designed to support the health of the Manning Catchment and Estuary and the social, economic, cultural and environmental values of its people.
Rural lands of the catchment are the backbone of the Manning Valley, with strong dairy, beef, oyster, poultry and timber industries. Organic and boutique farms are now emerging, and the number of horse studs have also increased. Other industries include blueberries, tomatoes, flowers and orchards. The population of the Manning Catchment is 50,000 with around 30% of people living within the rural environment, and a large proportion in urban townships of Taree, Wingham, Old Bar and Gloucester. The Manning Catchment is part of the traditional homelands of a number of Aboriginal nations, with the waterways and lands holding strong cultural significance. Today approximately 7% of our community is Aboriginal / Torres Strait Islander, (compared to 5.5% for Regional NSW as a whole).
Parts of the Manning Catchment and Estuary are in poor condition and under threat from past and present land use activities. Management challenges include nutrient and sediment run off from urban and rural land, erosion, stock in water ways, invasive species, vegetation clearing, flood plain drainage (acid run off), drought and climate change. These impacts result in poor water quality, reduced ecological condition of our waterways, degradation and loss of biodiversity and loss of productive land.
What will a coastal management program look like?
We are working with our community and agency stakeholders to develop a Coastal Management Program for the Manning River Estuary. This program is designed to support the health of the Manning Catchment and Estuary and the social, economic, cultural and environmental values of its people.
This program will:
- Collect information about social, economic and cultural values and assets from the community and stakeholders
- Invest in innovative environmental and social science to fill gaps in knowledge about the Manning
- Work with the community and stakeholders to identify management responses that protect social, cultural, economic and environmental values
- Establish strong links to planning and legislation
- Improve opportunities for investment in the Manning Catchment and Estuary following plan adoption.
We can bring together science, strategic management, community and landholder engagement in partnership with other stakeholders.
We will develop two coastal management programs for the Manning
We are currently developing two Coastal Management Programs for the Manning region:
- The Manning River Estuary Coastal Management Program
- Old Bar - Manning Point Coastal Management Program
These plans are being produced under legislation known as the Coastal Management Act 2016. It became a legislative requirement in 2016 for councils to prepare Coastal Management Programs (CMPs) to set long-term strategy for coordinated management of the NSW coast and estuaries.
There are a range of complex and specific issues to be addressed for the Old Bar – Manning Point site, which are quite different from the estuary / catchment issues for the Manning River Estuary. We believe these will be better addressed in two separate CMPs. This will allow us to focus efforts on specific issues and management areas.
Although they will deal with specific issues, the two CMPs are inter-related in a number of aspects, and there will be ongoing communication between the two programs. Put simply, the Manning River ECMP will address issues associated with the impact of land-based activities on waterways while the Old Bar CMP focuses on how the water impacts on the land.
The Old Bar – Manning Point CMP focuses on a coastal erosion hotspot. As part of the coordinated management of the coastline, the focus areas for Old Bar / Manning Point are coastal vulnerability areas, coastal use areas and littoral rainforest. In comparison, the Manning River Estuary CMP will focus on issues relative to the estuary and the catchment in the Coastal Management Area and Coastal Wetlands.
Visit our Coastal Management page for more information on the Manning / Old Bar CMP.