North Coast Local Land Services recently convened a workshop with representatives of key lower Clarence River industries, which rely on healthy estuaries and floodplains, to discuss ways to grow productivity and a healthy environment together. The workshop engaged key estuarine and floodplain industries who work both in and out of the water.
Tony Broderick, Team Leader Land Services said, “Our estuaries and floodplains support highly productive agricultural land and equally productive fisheries and aquaculture farms.
“The iconic estuaries of the North Coast region are highly valued by our local communities and visitors to the area for recreation, tourism and cultural heritage.
“They hold significant cultural value for Aboriginal communities and their health and productivity is critical to our livelihoods and lifestyle.”
Clarence Valley Council, industries, state agencies and community groups on the Clarence floodplain have been actively working together for a healthier and productive system for many years through initiatives such as the Clarence Floodplain and Estuary Partnership.
Tony continued, “The Clarence was chosen for the Industries on Estuaries workshop because the existing trust and relationships between partners enabled discussions to proceed straight to new ideas for on-ground action.”
The workshop identified a number of ideas for further exploration, including improvements to floodgate opening regimes and improved management of land with low agricultural productivity for increased estuarine productivity. Other discussion included;
- The importance of habitat in the estuary and the need to improve and maintain fish habitat, improve both water quality and fish passage into floodplain habitat.
- The uncertainty and complexities around the process for landholders seeking approval to maintain drains impacting private land.
- The need for pasture management and having effective farm and livestock management that is resilient to the dynamic nature of the floodplain.
Discussions complemented the existing activities carried out by North Coast Local Land Services with Clarence Valley Council and floodplain farmers on the Clarence floodplain.
Outcomes from the Industries on Estuaries workshop will help North Coast Local Land Services improve existing services designed to grow estuarine and floodplain health and productivity in the Clarence and across the North Coast region.