CHOKED: The formerly pristine wetland at Ocean Shores now choked with weeds.
CHOKED: The formerly pristine wetland at Ocean Shores now choked with weeds.

The sad story of Water Lily Park

IT'S called Water Lily Park, but the lilies in the lake are virtually gone, choked out by an exotic array of weeds that are so thick that from a distance they look like lawn.

The water's on the extinction list too with the waterway now less than a quarter of its original size.

And the rancid smell!

Locals remember when the Ocean Shores lake off Orana Rd used to be a haven for a rich variety of bird life like black swans, parrots, and water hens.

Mullets used to leap out of the water and kids would fish in it after school.

But when BSN inspected the lake last week, the only sign of life was a hapless wild duck trying to find a safe path for her three ducklings through the impossible tangle of weeds.

Nearby residents Margaret and Frank King say they have called council numerous times over the years about the deteriorating state of the waterway to no avail.

They say its condition started deteriorating 15 years ago and was now at a critical level posing a danger to the public.

"It's completely blocked and choked. It's a health hazard," Mrs King said.

"Eventually it will go solid.

"My fear is that some child will run in hear thinking its solid."

In fact, a dog did just that recently and only narrowly avoided drowning. Kids were also recently stopped from riding their bike on what they thought was lawn.

The King's believe the lake is just another example of council's neglect of a town which is still smarting over council's decision to sell off the Roundhouse site last week.

Byron Shire Councilor Diane Woods said: "It's just a disgrace but again we're fighting to find the funds."

Phil Holloway, Executive Manager of Community Infrastructure,said in coming weeks council would trial a variety of options to reduce the amount of weed in the lake.

"Dredging the lake is the long-term answer to the problem. However, this is expensive, and there are no current funds identified for such a project," Mr Holloway said.


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