Have your say on Devilbend watercraft access
Monday 20 February, 2017
Parks Victoria is inviting the community to comment on plans to introduce non-powered recreational boating, including canoes and kayaks, in a section of Devilbend Natural Features Reserve.
Devilbend Natural Features Reserve is recognised internationally for its importance in the conservation of bird populations. Over 44 species of birds call Devilbend Reservoir home including eight species which are listed as threatened.
“In keeping with Parks Victoria’s Healthy Parks Healthy People philosophy, we believe canoeing and kayaking as well as improving fishing experiences will contribute to improved physical, mental and social health in our community,” said Parks Victoria Area Chief Ranger Georgia Kerr.
“Canoeing and kayaking are great ways for people to enjoy Devilbend Natural Features Reserve and connect with nature. It’s really important that we ensure the proposed recreational boating activity at Devilbend Natural Features Reserve considers the needs of park visitors and the impact on birdlife in the park,”
In 2015 Parks Victoria commissioned the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research to investigate the impacts of non-powered watercraft on Blue-billed Ducks and other waterbirds at the Devilbend Natural Features Reserve.
“As a result of the Arthur Rylah Institute investigation, Parks Victoria is proposing a watercraft exclusion zone on the eastern side of the reservoir to minimise any potential disturbance in the largest habitat area for water birds including Blue-billed ducks.”
The noise and speed of powered watercraft was considered to be too much disruption for waterbirds and as such won’t be allowed within the park.
“The discussion paper on our website provides lots of detail for the community to consider and we would like to encourage people to get involved in the discussion so we can ensure the best outcome for the park.”
The opportunity to provide feedback on proposed boating access is open until Friday 24 March 2017.
For more information on the proposed watercraft access call 13 1963.