ERIC Roozendaal was armed with a fistful of dollars when he arrived in Coffs Harbour yesterday morning.
Labor's duty MLC for Coffs Harbour, and the Ports and Waterways Minister, announced seven community environment programs would share $209,500 in funding.
Three schools have each received $2500 for environmental projects.
Upper Orara Primary will turn land left vacant by the removal of a demountable classroom into an outdoor learning area featuring native plants, while Coffs Harbour High will work with Jetty Dunecare to regenerate areas around the jetty.
Chrysalis School for Rudolf Steiner Education will focus on reducing the amount of landfill it generates, through recycling, worm farming and composting.
The University of New England gets $99,000 to train indigenous participants involved in scientific monitoring at the marine field station at Arrawarra Headland.
Coffs Harbour City Council receives $25,000 to employ a part-time education officer to implement a new program at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden. The council gets an addi- tional $54,000 to protect the Coffs Creek flying fox camp.
Moody's Bridge Landcare Group will use $24,000 to help eliminate a Cat's Claw Creeper outbreak.
Mr Roozendaal also handed over $174,180 to Coffs Harbour City Council, the final instalment of $750,455 in natural disaster funding following the big storm in 2004.
The minister inspected the restored jetty during his visit yesterday, with the State Government picking up the $71,000 repair bill needed to repair the structure.
"In addition to the jetty damage, the harbour boat ramp needed attention, as did the boat ramp at Arrawarra Bay and the storm- water outlet adjacent to Finch Crescent," he said.
"Emergency works focused on restoring and maintaining power to the city's sewage pump stations after power failures were experienced throughout the region."
The storm was declared a natural disaster, allowing the council to apply for financial assistance.