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Roebuck Bay Working Group wins State environment award

The Roebuck Bay Working Group (RWBG) has won the 2013 Regional Achievement and Community Awards: CSBP Environment Award for the outstanding and innovative projects they have been delivering in Broome to reduce blooms of Lyngbya in Roebuck Bay and to develop community based management plans.

Kandy Curran, Project Manager at the Roebuck Bay Working Group said Lyngbya, a cyanobacteria commonly referred to as Maidens Hair, has been spreading in Roebuck Bay in recent years and can impact the seagrass meadows and biodiversity of Roebuck Bay.

The RBWG which formed ten years ago and is based in Broome and funded by Rangelands NRM, with smaller projects sponsored by Inspiring Australia and National Science Week.

The group’s outstanding community based work has been aimed at protecting, restoring and maintaining the highly biodiverse catchment that is one the most important migratory shorebird sites in Australia, holds an exceptional high biomass of invertebrates in its intertidal mudflats and is a hotspot for the Australian snubfin dolphin.

“The RBWG has been working proactively with partners and the community to reduce toxic Lyngbya blooms by reducing run-off from the Broome townsite that can contain nutrients and pindan soil that can become food for Lyngbya,” Ms Curran said.

Other key activities have been lobbying for a Roebuck Bay National Heritage site (declared in 2012), lobbying to divert helicopter flight paths to stop roosting shorebirds from being disturbed, removing 350 cubic metres of rubbish from the northern shores, raising community, industry and government awarenss of the impact of nutrient run-off into Roebuck Bay and providing practical solutions.

The Gala Awards Presentation was held at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on 18 October 2013. The award acknowledges groups who show a proven passion and dedication to reducing environmental impacts in rural and regional areas.

“A really big and sincere thanks to you all at Rangelands NRM, as you have been outstanding in your support for the projects that we deliver, providing honest and constructive feedback and encouragement along the way,” Ms Curran said.

Thanks also for the continued funding of the RBWG and the projects we are delivering with great success.

The Environment Award was hotly contested by two other finalists: the Eyre Bird Observatory, Cocklebiddy and the North Dandalup Primary School.

For more information about RBWG, visit their website.

Caption: Grant Pearson and Kandy Curran from the RBWG receive the Environment Award from Tony Naughton, Environment Manager of CSBP.