Council investigates need for marine zones
  • Tuesday 01 November 2011

Sunshine Coast Council will launch an online survey tomorrow (1 November) that will investigate the need for marine zones in the Maroochy, Mooloolah and Pumicestone estuaries. Residents can take part in the survey until 20 November on council’s website.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Keryn Jones explains a marine zone is a designated area where certain activities or vessels are managed to protect the health of the waterway and ensure the enjoyment and diversity of water-based recreational users.

"At this stage we’re seeking feedback from Coast residents to find out what the waterway management issues are, and where they are occurring," Cr Jones said.

"This will be especially important given the predicted growth of our region – we tend to think of growth in terms of roads, services and infrastructure, but we also need to look at our waterways.

"There is a limit to the space available on our waterways so any increase in water-based recreation has the potential to impact on the values and services that our waterways provide.

"Since 2003 we’ve seen a 36% increase in the number of recreational vessel registrations and a 164% increase in personal watercraft registrations. Added to that, sales of kayaks and canoes, etc. have increased 10-fold since 2003.

"As a result, we need to look at how we manage our estuaries – now, and into the future.

"Marine zones may be the answer but we certainly won’t know that until we have a thorough understanding of how our community uses these estuaries.

"That’s where the survey comes in. Our aim is to make sure we manage the waterways for everyone and that’s why, before any decisions are made, we’re asking residents what they think.

"I’d certainly encourage anyone who regularly uses and enjoys the Maroochy, Mooloolah and Pumicestone estuaries or has business associated with their management to have their say."

The survey is available online until 20 November.

All responses will help guide council’s decision making process to determine if marine zones or other management interventions are required in specific areas identified on the Maroochy, Mooloolah and Pumicestone estuaries.

For more information on the impacts of on-water activities refer to the Sunshine Coast Marine Zone Investigation Summary