Future recreational boat activities flagged for Woolgoolga Lake in new Plan Coffs Coast Coffs Coast News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - August 23, 2021 Commercial recreational activities, such as pedal-boat hire, have been put forward in a Draft Plan of Management for Woolgoolga Lake. Photos: Emma Darbin. FUTURE passive commercial recreational activities at Woolgoolga Lake such as pedal-boat hire have been flagged in a new draft Plan of Management for the coastal lake. The draft plan is one of a number of Plans of Management (PoM) for Crown Land Reserves classed as ‘community land’ currently being undertaken by Coffs Harbour City Council. The draft plan was unanimously adopted by Coffs Harbour councillors at Council’s meeting on Thursday 12 August and will now be forwarded to the NSW Government, which owns all Crown Land in the State, to seek approval to place the draft plan on public exhibition for community comment. The draft Plan of Management will provide a management framework for any possible passive, water-based commercial recreational activities, such as pedal-boat hire, that may occur in the future. A Council report on the plan stated that the aim of the new plan was for the reserve to “continue to provide benefits to the community while ensuring environmental protection”. “The PoM authorises the variety of uses that the reserve has been, or is currently being used for, while also providing sufficient flexibility for Council to modify the use or management of the reserve, into the future,” the report stated. “The draft PoM also authorises the granting of leases, licences and other estates so that organisations providing services, facilities and or recreational opportunities to the community may have security of tenure should they wish.” Woolgoolga Lake covers three square kilometres and its ocean entrance sits across Woolgoolga Main Beach, which is regularly blocked naturally by a sand berm. Coastal lakes like this form important habitats and fish nurseries for the Solitary Islands Marine Park. During times of heavy rain and a closed estuary entrance, the water level of Woolgoolga Lake can rise, causing concern for residents of the nearby caravan park. So that Council can mechanically reduce the height of the sand berm to allow water to escape and lower the water level, a Woolgoolga Lake Entrance Management Procedure has been developed with agreement from all relevant State Government agencies. The draft Woolgoolga Lake Plan of Management is separate to the Woolgoolga Lake Entrance Management Procedure, although it is the overarching legislative instrument which allows the lake entrance to be managed. The draft Woolgoolga Lake Plan of Management is also separate to the Woolgoolga Lake Coastal Management Program, which is also running parallel to this plan. The purpose of the Coastal Management Program is to understand and outline key threats and impacts to the estuary and to develop management actions to address them. By Emma DARBIN Commercial recreational activities, such as pedal-boat hire, have been put forward in a Draft Plan of Management for Woolgoolga Lake. Photos: Emma Darbin.