Sustainable Eyre Peninsula coast

News article |

How we keep our coast special is definitely on the minds of locals, and it’s also on the forward planning of the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Board (EPNRMB), Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula (RDAWEP) and the Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association (EPLGA).

The three groups are collaborating on ‘Sustainable Coastal Access for all’ a planned approach to maintain coastal sustainability with the anticipated growth in tourism demanding access to Eyre Peninsula’s coastal areas.

Eyre Peninsula NRM Board Member, Diana Laube, said coastal access needed to be well thought through to stand a chance of retaining what is special and unique to the area.

“Often the very reason tourists come here is to experience the abundance of plant and animal life, as well as stunning seascape scenery.” Diana said.

“Naturally, local councils with coastal frontage are also major stakeholders in this sustainability project. Our region is unique and this partnership is important to retain natural values into the future, ensure wildlife have opportunities to prosper and people can enjoy accessing the coast for their lifestyles and livelihoods whilst not causing undue stress and damage to the environment.”

Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula Chief Executive Officer Dion Dorward said tourism potential on the Eyre Peninsula is one of the highest in South Australia with a current economic value of $300 million and a projected value of $511 million. About 1,500 people are employed directly in tourism on the Eyre Peninsula, plus another 1,500 employed indirectly. Nature-based tourism will play a significant role in growing jobs and the visitor economy on the Eyre Peninsula.

“The challenge this presents to all of us is how to effectively manage environmental impacts resulting from increased visitation to the region. The new ‘Coastal Vehicle Access Decision Making Framework’ is a sustainable coastal approach covering all coastal councils on Eyre Peninsula. It’s a decision making tool used to consider environmental, social and economic values. It also provides clear recommendations, management options and guidelines for the protection of coastal natural resource assets, to enable councils and other land owners to identify specific management actions required at any site.”

Funding for the framework, a regional database and on-ground action has come from the Eyre Peninsula NRM Board, investing $150,000 in the project. A further $50,000 funding from local councils and RDAWEP has been injected into the project. In the future this will lead to appropriate infrastructure assessments at priority sites, with a focus on balancing visitor enjoyment and environmental sensitivity, allowing for native flora and fauna to prosper whilst retaining ongoing use by the community.

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