Clean Curalo Project
Clean Curalo Project
Lake Curalo is a very important natural asset for Eden.
Well into the 1970s, the lake was deep enough for people to sail dinghies on. They went prawning, swimming and fished from small boats.
But gradually, the lake has filled up, becoming shallower and dirtier as the result of increased sedimentation erosion in stormwater channels and the entry of more and more rubbish, largely via the catchment.
In 1997 the deepest part of the lake was 1.9m. Fast forward to 2017 and the deepest part of the lake was 1.5m.
If this trend continues the lake will be little more than a metre deep in 20yrs time.
If we are to preserve the lake as a healthy ecosystem for the enjoyment of Eden residents, visitors, and wildlife, controls to reduce sediment and rubbish are critical.
The Eden Recovery and Resilience Alliance (ERRA) is working with Council to implement measures to reduce sediment and rubbish entering Lake Curalo so we can preserve water depth, quality and marine life.
Sediment increases the bed level of the lake, reducing water depth and quality. Fine sediments are entering Lake Curalo from a range of sources across the catchment including stormwater drains, stream bank erosion, roads/tracks, and urban development.
The Lake Curalo Estuary Processes Study 2002 estimated the sediment yield from the lake’s catchment to be 350 tonnes per year, or approx. 30 truckloads of sediment per year flowing into the lake.
This is at the upper end of sediment yield estimates for South Coast estuaries, highlighting the need to closely monitor and manage erosion in the catchment.
Our observations are that rubbish is also entering the lake from stormwater and streams.
The community is seeking greater certainty about practical steps it and Council can take to improve this situation.
WHERE IS THIS PROJECT AT?
Clean Curalo is a community group working with the support of ERRA to improve Lake Curalo. Clean Curalo volunteers have been collecting rubbish in and around Lake Curalo since early 2021.
Our aim is to create a healthy environment and to improve the experience for locals and tourists.
Presentation to Council
In June 2022, ERRA’s Carina Severs and Garry Hunter attended a regular Bega Valley Shire councillors’ workshop to present a video outlining the community’s concerns for Lake Curalo. Following the presentation those in attendance discussed funding challenges, a path forward and possible solutions. Clean Curalo’s trash trap trial was one of the outcomes of this meeting.
Trash Trap Trial
In late January 2023, a prototype trash trap was installed in the Lakeside Drive stormwater drain. The trash trap is being trialled to test the design and effectiveness in all wet weather events, capturing rubbish before it enters our waterways. The trap is currently being monitored by Clean Curalo volunteers and the information we gather will be used in the planning and design of more traps across the catchment.
Return and Earn
In December 2022 Clean Curalo kicked off its recycling program, making the most of the Return and Earn facility at the Eden Country Club to recycle containers.
By doing this Clean Curalo is earning a small amount of money to buy equipment for rubbish collection and other items needed for the project. In just over 12 months we recycled 14,000 containers which would have otherwise ended up in landfill.
Draft Coastal Management Plan
Bega Valley Shire Council is finalising its draft Coastal Management Plan (CMP). The date for the public exhibition has not yet been set. The exhibition period is when the community will be able to give feedback about Council’s draft plans for the lake. Community feedback is critical to making sure the CMP provides the measures necessary to protect and improve Lake Curalo for years to come. A finalised CMP is key to attracting large scale funding for remediation works.
Keen to help out?
If you would like to help the Clean Curalo team keep our lake healthy and beautiful, please call Garry 0428165771 or Sharon 0412035736.
CONNECTION TO ERRA'S MISSION STATEMENT
Supporting the growth of a strong, inclusive and unified community able to work in harmony to withstand the social, cultural, environmental and economic challenges of the future.