Results of our Conservation Efforts
Since the formation of BirdLife Shoalhaven in 2014 we have been involved in many conservation issues that had the potential to impact birds and their environments in the Shoalhaven. During that time we have had some wins, some losses, and some protracted campaigns that are still ongoing. All are listed below ...
The campaign to prevent the development Heritage Estate and to incorporate it into the Jervis Bay National Park was waged by BirdLife Shoalhaven Conservation Officer Chris Grounds beginning in the 1990s. As of late 2018 the battle appears to have been won. See the Heritage Estate page for more details.
In 2013 the Shoalhaven City Council acquired an area of flood-prone land adjacent to Larmer Avenue in Sanctuary Point, and asked the community about what should be done with it. BirdLife Shoalhaven, in association with a number of other community groups, suggested the area be set aside as a wetland / wildlife sanctuary. This campaign was successful - see our Bherwerre Wetland page for more details.
Land for auction near Vincentia roundabout
In 2017 an 11 hectare parcel of land on the eastern side of the Jervis Bay Rd roundabout in Vincentia came up for auction unexpectedly. A hastily organized email campaign to have the land incorporated into Jervis Bay National Park involving BirdLife Shoalhaven and many other like-minded community groups and organizations has local politicians scrambling to get on board and to take credit for its incorporation when it finally happened.
Cudmirrah "Off-Leash" dog beach
In 2018 the Shoalhaven City Council suddenly decided to change Cudmirrah Beach from being a dogs "on-leash" beach to an "off-leash" beach. A concentrated campaign led by South Coast Shorebird Recovery volunteers Mike and Rose Clear (also BirdLife Australia members), supported by BirdLife Australia, and BirdLife Shoalhaven and its conservation network partners, deluged the Council with complaints, emails, submissions and letters, calling for a rescission of the motion to change dog access to the beach. Many BLS members attended a Council meeting where the rescission motion was not only passed, but passed unanimously!
The Orion Beach Shared Pathway
BirdLife Shoalhaven lobbied for a simple pedestrian pathway through bushland on the Jervis Bay foreshore near Orion Beach in Sanctuary Point, arguing that the option provided more amenity to the public, less loss of trees, less disturbance to the birds and wildlife of the area, and was significantly cheaper. The Shoalhaven City Council opted for an expensive, wide, over-engineered, fenced off, shared bicycle / pedestrian pathway that significantly reduced the size of the habitat. But it is a joy to cycle along ...
The Seaplane DA
BirdLife Shoalhaven opposed a development application for the operation of a sea-plane tourism / taxi venture on the Shoalhaven River which would have seen planes landing at Shoalhaven Heads and overflying the potential KBA at low altitude. While the sea-plane DA was approved, a close look at their website shows no mention of landing near Shoalhaven Heads, with its regular routes hopefully high enough to have little impact on the birdlife of the Shoalhaven coast.
After a quarter of a century of opposition to the development of the Lake Wollumboola catchment, the Lake Wollumboola Protection Association (LWPA), backed up by BirdLife Shoalhaven and BirdLife Australia, appears to have had a major win in late 2018 with the announcements that the development proposals for a golf course at Long Bow Point (in the Lake's catchment) and a development at West Culburra had both been refused. The LWPA wants the catchment to be included into Jervis Bay National Park. See our Lake Wollumboola page for more details.
The strip of native vegetation between the Huskisson to Vincentia shared cycleway / footpath and Collingwood Beach, which provides essential dune stabilization to prevent inundation of the houses adjacent to the path, has been consistently attacked with poisons over the years by persons unknown, a bi-product of which has been a dramatic improvement to the views of the beach and Jervis Bay from the said houses. Shoalhaven City Council has had no success in catching the criminals involved. This strip of trees is an important corridor for birds along the coast. BirdLife Shoalhaven has advocated for the re-establishment of large trees along the strip. Council is trialling some plantings to bring back some trees while at the same time adding to the "amenity" of the area ...
Illegally un-leashed dogs at Myola Spit
Despite signs telling dog-owners that the Myola Spit at the mouth of Currambene Creek in Huskisson is a "dogs-prohibited" area, people continue to take their dogs - both leashed and un-leashed - to the Myola spit. The spit is a regular resting place for many bird species, including threatened and endangered species like Pied Oystercatchers and Eastern Curlews. BirdLife Shoalhaven has called upon Council to enforce its own laws to keep dogs away from this important bird area.
The Lady Denman Reserve Master Plan
In 2016 BirdLife Shoalhaven provided input into the master plan for the Lady Denman Reserve at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum, supporting a proposed extension to the existing jetty to provide a circular walk around the mangrove tidal flats which would facilitate nature observation - particularly bird observation - in the estuary. As of late 2018, nothing appears to have been done with this plan.
Additions of State Forests to Jervis Bay National Park
BirdLife Shoalhaven supported the Jervis Bay Regional Alliance in its bid to have areas of the Tomerong, Nowra and Currambene State Forests added to Jervis Bay National Park. As of late 2018 we are not aware whether or not these additions have been made.
Fires on Beecroft Peninsula
BirdLife Shoalhaven expressed its disappointment to the Defence Force minister that a hazard reduction burn on the Beecroft Peninsula in 2016, begun by contractors under the auspices of the Weapons Range, not only was allowed to become a wildfire which devastated large sections of the Jervis Bay KBA, but was also started in mid-Spring at the height of the nesting season for the endangered Eastern Bristlebird. It remains to be seen whether our advice was noted.
Worrowing Heights Precinct Plan
In August 2017 BirdLife Shoalhaven made a submission to Shoalhaven City Council about its proposed Worrowing Heights Precinct Plan which would effectively block the wildlife corridor that connects Jervis Bay National Park and Booderee National Park with the state forests to the north and national parks to the west. The plan is yet to be finalized.