Big Swamp Grant To Greater Taree City Council
Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams and Planning Minister Rob Stokes have announced Greater Taree City Council would receive a $200 000 2015/16 Estuary Management Program grant for the Big Swamp Acid Sulfate Soil Remediation Project.
Mrs Williams said the Big Swamp project was a broad-acre acid sulfate soil (ASS) remediation project within the Pipeclay Canal-Cattai Creek catchment, which has been identified by the State Government as one of the worst ASS hotspots in NSW.
“The project area consists of 2,000 hectares of coastal floodplain which has been extensively cleared and drained for agriculture resulting in the significant discharge of ASS products into the Manning River estuary,” Mrs Williams said.
“This has had adverse impacts on water quality, aquatic ecology, oyster production and commercial and recreational fishing.
“This proposal aims to build on the success of the Big Swamp project, which commenced in 2011 and so far has achieved the acquisition and remediation of over 700 hectares of ASS affected landscape,” Mrs Williams said.
Mr Stokes said the Greater Taree City Council project was an outstanding example of putting Estuary Management Program grant money to good work.
“This grant is one of 25 Estuary Management Program grants totalling $1,799,036 awarded to 19 NSW councils and Local Land Services (LLS) today,” Mr Stokes said.
“The grants support councils and LLS in improving the health of their local estuaries and maintaining their ecological values.
“Estuaries are essential elements of the NSW coastal environment that provide habitat and nursery areas for hundreds of plant and animal species and support aquaculture industries.
“As of July this year, there were 77 ongoing projects valued at $5.56 million still being implemented from previous years under the Estuary Management Program.
“This means the NSW Government has more than $7 million currently invested in protecting and restoring NSW estuaries.
“All Estuary Management Program grants are matched dollar for dollar by recipients and are administered by the Office of Environment and Heritage.”