December 28, 2014 - January 3, 2015: Issue 195

 Pittwater’s Environment 2014 – The Good, The Bad, the Ugly

Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater and members of Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment chop up the no longer needed Narrabeen State Park campaign banner. Picture by Andrew Johnston

 Pittwater’s Environment 2014 – The Good, The Bad, the Ugly

A number of good and great things have happened for Pittwater’s Environment this year – the creation of Narrabeen Lagoon State Park, the appointment of Rob Stokes, a gentleman renowned for his passion for all outdoors, to the portfolio of Environment for the NSW Government, a number of Marinas adopting and promoting Clean and 'fish friendly' Marina practices, the release of prawns into Narrabeen Lagoon, and in a case of those who wander off the beaten tracks and give themselves time to will find great things, we managed to photograph one of Pittwater’s endangered plants, grevillea caleyi, in the bush!

Warriewood residents can be credited with stopping overdevelopment in Warriewood Valley - backed up by Council and Mr. Stokes. 

Organisations such as PNHA, and PEF, the hundreds of people who gave thousands of hours in Volunteer Bushcare this year continues to toil at the coalface of introduced weeds and those that steal habitat and original bushland from our native fauna and flora.

PNHA, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this Spring, can also be credited with ensuring, along with Council's input, that the Pittwater Local Environment Plan was amended on 27 June 2014 to rezone 122 Mona Vale Road and a 25 metre strip of land along the bank of Narrabeen Creek to an environmental protection zone (the same zoning as Ingleside Chase Reserve). This brought us closer to a goal of a fauna corridor connecting Ingleside Chase Reserve and Katandra Bushland Sanctuary.

Members of the association are also keeping an eye on Mona Vale Road upgrades to see how fauna corridors will be incorporated to make crossing this road a less deadly experience for all the animals that live in the bush on either side of it. 

The uptake and increasing popularity of many of the bushwalks and coastal rockshelf walks provided by Pittwater Council, ranging in activities from the educational to just plain enjoyable celebrations of our wetlands and all in them as well, and aimed at families as much as interested individuals, demonstrate that people who live here live here because this is such a beautiful place. 

The Inaugural Sydney Harbour and Coast Walk was launched beneath Barrenjoey - and the lighthouse so many stood defending last year is to be retained in its original form - a great boon for all who visit there now and all who come afterwards - an original lightship in its original state is something we all need.

David James, former Mayor of Pittwater, received an OAM for his work in contributing to the saving of Warriewood's wetlands and promptly listed all those he thought were responsible.

Here at Pittwater Online we've taken many a bushwalk, photographing anything that moved and much that didn't along the way, conscious that not all may run up steep cliffs and leap over tall eucalypts but love seeing what's out there. When the Noxious Weeds lists were updated earlier this year we went out, snap happy again, and tried finding all those on the list for those who are a bit like us, and pull up the flowers and leave the weeds. 

The Bad note came in the form of the State of the Beaches Report where Bayview Baths, after rain incidents, were not to be swum in.

The Ugly must stem from the worst attack on our environment this year in the form of the Introduction of the 10/50 code – originally introduced to reduce the risk of loss of life and property in the event of bushfires, many took this as an opportunity to destroy stately and beautiful tress, some hundreds of years old and many protected under law, that will not be seen again by the likes of us for at least a few generations, and only if the roar of chainsaws desists.

10/50 Code Protest - picture courtesy John Illingsworth, 2014.

Other ugly notes continue to be the amount of plastic that appears in all our waterways, from creek to lagoon to ocean and estuary – the fad for being fashionable by carrying around a plastic bottle of water seems to be dispersing but all that rubbish is not. 

Similarly, people allowing their dogs to romp through wetlands and along creeks has and will continue to contribute to the death of our waterbirds, especially when these are nurseries for the next generation of feathered wonders.

The positives have been really positive - ditto for the ugly. Hopefully in 2015 there will be even more give towards our green spaces and less take. Pittwater is glorious because you may step outside your door and be in the environment, not a cold grey concreted jungle - let's all do our bit to keep her that way.

Thank you to all the team of bush-regenerators and Major Day outers on the September '14 Event. Photo courtesy Michael Doherty -Pittwater YHA

 Grevillea caleyi, now critically endangered. Image taken in Bush at Ingleside/Terrey Hills verges - picture by A J Guesdon, 31.10.2014.