Life After the Bomb
The marine and coastal environments of the Montebello/Barrow/Lowendal islands region represent a unique combination of offshore islands, intertidal and sub tidal coral reefs, mangroves, macro algal communities and sheltered lagoons.
In 1994 it was recommended that the waters encompassing the Montebello Islands, Biggada Reef on the western side of Barrow Island and Bandicoot Bay on the southern end of Barrow Island be considered for reservation.
In May 2000, the then Minister for the Environment appointed a community-based committee, the Advisory Committee for the Proposed Montebello/Barrow Islands Marine Conservation Reserve, to assist the then Department of Conservation and Land Management in developing a management plan to guide the conservation and management of the marine environment in this area. The advisory committee met five times before finalizing its advice to the Minister in May 2003.
The Management Plan for the Montebello/Barrow Islands Marine Conservation Reserves provides a detailed description of the ecological and social values of the area, management objectives, strategies and targets. The goal of the plan is to facilitate the conservation of the marine biodiversity of the area and to ensure that the existing and future pressures on the reserves’ values are managed within an ecologically sustainable framework. The plan also provides mechanisms for the community and visitors to actively participate in the day to day management of the area.