Hydrosphere Consulting has recently started work on the Coastal Management Plan (CMP) Scoping Study for the Richmond River. The CMP will consolidate the previous estuary and coastal management planning for the Richmond River including the certified Coastal Zone Management Plan for the Richmond River Estuary prepared in 2011.
Preparation of the CMP will enable the councils to be eligible for financial assistance from the NSW Government through its Coastal and Estuary Grants Program. The study area for the CMP Scoping Study is defined by the catchment boundary of the Richmond River to the marine extent of the Richmond River and Evans River estuaries but excluding areas that are subject to other coastal management planning documents.
The Richmond River CMP will provide a whole-of-catchment perspective for the coastal management planning process which recognises the influence of the catchment issues and activities on the health of the coastal zone. Rous County Council, Ballina Shire Council, Lismore City Council and Richmond Valley Council are partnering with the NSW Government to deliver the CMP. Due to the whole-of-catchment approach to the project, participating councils also include Kyogle Council, Byron Shire Council and Clarence Valley Council.
The Scoping Study will involve the review of existing information and relevant management plans to identify key issues/threats to the study area and highlight knowledge gaps impacting effective management of issues. The Scoping Study is Stage 1 of a five-part process for the completion of a CMP. These are:
- Stage 1 – Identify the scope of the CMP (Scoping Study)
- Stage 2 – Determine risk, vulnerabilities and opportunities (detailed studies)
- Stage 3 – Identify and evaluate options
- Stage 4 – Prepare, exhibit, finalise, certify and adopt the CMP
- Stage 5 – Implement, monitor, evaluate and report
The Scoping Study is expected to be completed by February 2022, however Stages 2 – 4 may take several years to complete. Implementation of the CMP (Stage 5) will be ongoing.
For further information about the CMP, follow this link to the Richmond River CMP community website.