A handy science-based fact sheet has been released to help the community better understand the Lake Cathie and Lake Innes estuarine system.
The fact sheet, developed by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, gives an overview of Lake Cathie and Lake Innes as unique systems under stress, the current state of Lake Cathie and Lake Innes, and future trajectories and management options.
People can read about water levels, acid sulphate soil processes and management principles, for example.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams said the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - with assistance from Southern Cross University, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Soil Conservation Service and Revive Lake Cathie - had put a lot of effort into the fact sheet.
Mrs Williams said the fact sheet provided some really useful information for people broadly to have a better understanding of the impacts of actions on Lake Cathie.
Mrs Williams said it also provided an understanding of what potentially the future could look like.
"It's fantastic to see so many people using the lake while it's open [to the ocean], but I think you need to have a good understanding that whenever you take actions within the system, it does have impacts on other parts of the estuarine system," Mrs Williams said.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council's responsibilities for the management of the Crown-owned Lake Cathie water body are limited to flood mitigation, stormwater drainage and community protection.
Lake Innes and part of Lake Cathie are within the Lake Innes Nature Reserve, managed by National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Overall management arrangements are complex with other agencies having jurisdiction for the water body, aquatic fauna, commercial fishers and activities on the water surface.
Stakeholders continue to work together in a path towards solutions to restore the health of the estuarine system.
Council's Coastal Management Program (CMP), when complete, will play a key role in guiding the future management of the Lake Cathie and Lake Innes estuarine system.
Revive Lake Cathie education coordinator and committee member Bob Small said he hoped the fact sheet would help people understand it was not just a little lake by the ocean but an estuarine system.
Mr Small encouraged the community to take a long-term view.
He said long-term remedial action was needed.
Revive Lake Cathie president Danielle Maltman said the fact sheet would provide more of an understanding within the community about the estuarine system.
"Whilst it looks beautiful at the lagoon today, we want the whole lake to look that beautiful all the time," she said.
Lake Cathie residents will receive a copy of the fact sheet in the coming weeks.
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