In early July 2021, members of Mambo Wanda Wetlands Conservation Group and committee members of EcoNetwork Port Stephens met with four council officers to discuss work due to start on Foreshore Drive, Salamander Bay.
You may recall that heavy rain, tidal swells and poor maintenance combined and caused the collapse of the culvert on 18 March this year. Many local people were happy for the road to remain closed as there was less traffic, it was quieter and the wetlands seemed to appreciate the greater inflow and outflow of water now made possible.
Our aim was to remind Council that Mambo Wetlands is being considered for designation as a Ramsar site and that any work carried out may possibly have a limited life span due to rising sea levels and the increasing occurrence of similar freak weather events. Council officers agreed that this may be a 10 -15 year solution and we emphasised that minimal disturbance to the wetlands was essential.
Port Stephens Council is finishing a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and has ordered a prefabricated bridge that will take the place of the old culvert. This is a cost effective solution that will provide a compromise between the transport needs of the community and the ecological priorities to keep the wetlands protected.
If you have an opinion on the reconstruction of the causeway and have not already done so, write to Council to express your concerns.