TWO fishing decks recently installed near Rex Hardaker Oval are attracting attention and compliments from anglers, conservationists and bird-watchers.
The decks were built to help prevent bank erosion at these popular fishing spots and to provide views of the picturesque waterways of Boambee and Newports Creeks.
Funding was provided by the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority ($68,800), the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust ($37,000) and Coffs Harbour City Council's Environmental Levy ($10,000).
The project has also attracted valuable in-kind support from the local branch of Birdlife Australia. This group has assisted with the development of signage highlighting migratory bird species which frequent the area, some travelling all the way from Siberia to spend part of their breeding cycle here.
In addition, local aggregate supplier Holcim kindly provided free gravel material for the carpark close to the decks.
The project is also helping protect and improve 25 hectares of bushland around the creeks. Bush regeneration works have been focused on areas with Floyds Grass, an endangered plant that occurs nowhere else in the world but Coffs Harbour.
This grass is an essential food source for the Black Grass-dart Butterfly.
Other important vegetation at the site includes Paperbark Swamp, Mangroves, Salt Marsh and Sea Grass which are vital to the health of the estuary as a fish nursery.
Additional in-kind contributions are also being made by Conservation and Land Management students from North Coast Institute TAFE who are assisting with extensive revegetation planting along a cleared section of the creek bank on Coffs Harbour Education Campus land.
Earlier this year Coffs Harbour City Council and Solitary Islands Marine Park education staff participated in a World Wetlands Day event organised by Wetland Care at which participants expressed amazement at the natural beauty of the area.