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Barham River shared path

Background:

The declaration of the upper reaches of Barham River as a Special Water Supply Catchment in 2006, led to the formation of the Otway Barham Reference Group. This group developed and endorsed a comprehensive strategy for improving and maintaining the whole river system, the Otway Barham Catchment Management Framework.

Implicit in the framework is the twofold understanding: first, that the health of the Barham River and its catchment is the primary indicator of a healthy and a sustainable catchment community; second, that achieving health and sustainability cannot be separated from the aspirations, needs and activities of three communities of interest:

(1) those living and working in the town of Apollo Bay and consuming its water;
(2) those living, working, and visiting the Barham River catchment;
(3) the native flora and fauna that depend on the Barham River system for their survival.

In February 2009, the inaugural Barham River Festival celebrated the connections between the catchment community, the town of Apollo Bay, and the source of its water supply. When Festival participants were asked to comment on their aspirations for the Barham River, there was a strong call for a stronger natural linkage corridor between the forest and the estuary and backwater to enhance in-stream habitat as well as for more access via a shared (bicycle/walking/bridle) path.

The rejection of the proposed Great Ocean Green housing/golf development by planning Minister, Justin Madden meant that there was no reason why the riparian restoration of the lower reaches of the Barham River could not proceed. Acting on the feedback from the Barham River Festival, the Otway Barham Reference Group decided to incorporate a shared path into the riparian restoration project.

A draft of the project plan can be seen here:

BarhamRiverPath_07

~ by James on June 14, 2010 .



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