Lagoon walkway will be a stroll with nature
THE extension of the Urunga Lagoon walkway into the mangroves has long been the vision of Lagoon Care Group member Cathy Fortescue.
Last week the work began and Mrs Fortescue is thrilled.
"We did surveys of walkway users in 2003/2004 and found overwhelming support from both residents and holiday-makers for an extension," Mrs Fortescue said.
"A large number of users were school groups and visitors, who came specifically to see the marine life. While some residents said improved beach access was more important, that is really a separate issue."
She said funding for the project had only been available on the basis of the educational and passive recreational potential of a walkway. Funding for the project has come from both the Bellingen Shire's Environmental Levy and the NSW Government's Estuaries Management Program.
The council's manager of buildings and services, Bob Burgess, said the extension would stretch 250 metres into the lagoon.
"The vista from there is fabulous ? the area is very rich in wildlife not noticeable from the main walkway," Mr Burgess said.
"The design is low-lying to allow close-up views of the marine life. There will be interpretive signs and seats where people can sit and wonder."
Mr Burgess said poles supporting the structure were copper arsenic/creosote treated, which was standard in marine environments to prevent marine borer damage.
"The area is a SEPP-14 wetland. We have had to comply with stringent environmental tests."
He said the decking timbers would not contain arsenic, also in compliance with the Australian standards.