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Member Group Spotlight: Nature Coast Marine Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nature Coast Marine Group is a community-based organisation that was formed in 2008 to support the establishment of the Batemans Marine Park on the south coast of NSW.  With a vision to enhance protection of the marine environment, the Group is involved in numerous activities.

Advocacy

We engage with decision-makers, including Local, State and Federal Governments as well as other NGOs such as NCC. Our on-going, primary campaign is to restore sanctuary zones in the Batemans Marine Park that were opened to recreational fishing in late 2019. Other current advocacy areas include working towards rehabilitating kelp reefs that have become urchin barrens, conserving the marine life on Narooma wharf and at Bar Beach and protecting the Eastern Blue Groper.

 

Supporters at a Paddle-Out raising awareness of sanctuary zone restoration

 

Education

We help people learn about our local marine life. Events include the popular ‘What’s Under the Wharf?’, where divers collect specimens from under Narooma Wharf which are displayed topside to members of the public (all critters being carefully handled and returned to their habitat), helping with school excursions and providing school holiday programs, such as rock pool and beach walks.

 

Citizen-science projects

We contribute to scientific research through marine life surveys of our rocky reefs and recording marine biodiversity using the INaturalist tool on the Narooma Wharf, which is slated for replacement, and in the Batemans Marine Park at Broulee. We are collaborating with OzFish and DPI Fisheries who have established artificial reefs in the Wagonga Inlet and NCMG are currently monitoring settlement of native oysters onto the reefs.

 

Volunteers bagging oyster shells for artificial reef construction

 

Social occasions

Our Group organises film screenings, snorkels, whale watching and kayaking opportunities, to mention a few.

 

NCMG, with around 150 financial members and over 800 supporters, has been a member group of NCC since 2017. During this time, we were pleased to participate in a regional NCC conference.

Many challenges operate as we move forward, with restoration of the Batemans Marine Park sanctuary zones remaining a priority. We look forward to working more closely with NCC staff on marine issues, including expanding all sanctuary zones in NSW to reach the 30% by 2030 target following the recommended best practice of CAR (comprehensive, adequate and representative) principles.

 

For more information contact: President Dane Wilmot 0427 860 721

or view our website here: https://www.ncmg.org.au/ 

 

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