Estuary management grants 2013-14

Eurobodalla Shire Council

Review and Update - Tomaga Estuary Management Plan 2005

The Tomaga estuary is located on the South Coast of NSW, approximately 300 km south of Sydney. The Tomaga Estuary Management Plan adopted in 2005 identified onground projects and initiatives aimed at protecting and restoring key environmental assets and social amenity. A recent review of the plan identified that many of the high priority projects have been implemented in full, including major erosion control works, weed control and water quality monitoring programs. It is timely to initiate a more thorough review of the plan to consider proposed intensification of land use within the catchment and capture changing views within the community in terms of how the estuary is managed.

Eurobodalla Estuary Health Monitoring and Reporting

Key objectives for completed estuary management plans in the Eurobodalla included estuary health and water quality monitoring. This led to the council developing an Estuary Health Monitoring Program in 2010 that included the Clyde River, Tomaga River, Moruya River, Coila Lake, Tuross River and Wagonga Inlet. This project will see the continuation of estuary health monitoring in the six main Eurobodalla estuaries, the refinement of trigger values and the completion of up-to-date estuary health report cards that track how well each estuary is being managed over time and inform the community of the current health of its estuaries. The project will also include the completion of a catchment model for the Tuross River Catchment to identify pollution hot spots that may be contributing to the water quality ranking of this estuary. A number of recommendations on potential actions to address the long-term management of this estuary will be included.

Great Lakes Council

Improving water quality and habitat by addressing riverbank erosion and enhancing riparian vegetation

The Wallamba River is located in the Great Lakes LGA on the NSW Mid North Coast in the Wallis Lake Catchment. It is exposed to severe bank erosion due to past vegetation clearance, ongoing cattle grazing and wash from boats. Sedimentation downstream is impacting on the ecosystem health of Wallis Lake. Sedimentation directly affects oyster leases and turbidity limits how deep seagrass is able to grow, thus reducing fish habitat. The Lower Wallamba Rivercare Plan (2004) identified that accelerated bank erosion was widespread, particularly in areas with poor or no vegetation. The river plan was developed following recommendations from the Wallis Lake Catchment Management Plan. Declining water quality was the main issue identified requiring immediate action. This project will address the water quality decline associated with bank erosion and disturbance of the riparian zone through the installation of temporary rock fillets/revetment to allow the establishment of mangroves to protect the riverbank from wash. In addition, stock exclusion fencing and revegetation of the Crown foreshore reserve will restore estuarine riparian and wetland vegetation, thus improving water quality, significant aquatic and terrestrial habitat and providing bank stabilisation.

West Swamp wetland protection and management to improve water quality and ecosystem services

West Swamp is a significant floodplain wetland system on the Wallamba River, which is a major tributary of the significant Wallis Lake Estuary. The estuary is a Caring for Our Country coastal hotspot and is listed on the Directory of Nationally Important Wetlands. West Swamp is located in an area at high risk from acid sulfate pollution. The conservation and restoration of West Swamp has been identified as a priority action within the Wallis Lake Estuary Management Plan. Presently, West Swamp is privately owned and used for grazing and is subject to artificial drainage, inappropriate bushfire regimes, weed infestations and clearing/suppression of regeneration. West Swamp is very important for ecosystem services, including water quality protection and aquatic biodiversity. It is bordered to the south by lands within the gazetted Minimbah Nature Reserve.

To conserve this key priority wetland system, this project provides for the primary establishment of stock exclusion fencing to assist the initial conservation and re-establishment of wetland function of this significant area. The project will ensure that the significant environmental services provisions provided by West Swamp are protected and enhanced and would achieve positive improvement to the broader Wallis Lake system.

Best Practice Urban Stormwater Management

This project addresses poor water quality and threats to the coastal hotspot, focusing on rehabilitating the most degraded part of Wallis Lake. As identified in the Great Lakes Water Quality Improvement Plan (2009), urban stormwater is the major contributor to pollutants threatening the ecologically sensitive southern section of Wallis Lake where unique sponge beds have been cited. Four of the twelve species of sponges in southern Wallis Lake are only observed from Wallis Lake and most other species have only been recorded from a handful of other lakes.

The project will address water quality decline in Pipers Bay (Wallis Lake) through the construction of one bioretention trench downstream of a stormwater drain to filter nutrients and sediments from urban stormwater prior to entering Wallis Lake. Improvements in water quality and the ecological condition of Pipers Bay (Wallis Lake) will be achieved through the removal of approximately 7 kg of nitrogen per annum and other associated pollutants. The bioretention pond is predicted to receive runoff from 1.05 ha of a medium-density urban area.

Greater Taree City Council

Manning River Bank Stabilisation Project - River Road Glenthorne 2013

This project is to implement priority river bank stabilisation works in the Manning River Estuary. The project site is the Manning River banks either side of the Martin Bridge (Manning River Drive) south of Taree at Glenthorne. This location is where River Street is in very close proximity to the Manning River, causing a high risk of loss of the public road associated with bank erosion. The site exhibits problems with vegetation loss and removal to enhance the view from adjacent residences, resulting in increased bank instability.

The project will include public and individual site meetings with adjacent residents to seek their input into the project, educate them about the impact of activities on bank stability, and involve them in ongoing management of the site. The project plans to implement a combination of rock fillets at the base of the river bank to protect the bank from erosion and provide a site for recruitment of mangroves which will provide additional bank protection (without impeding views), as well as planting of the bank with river mat rush (Lomandra), a deep-rooted indigenous tussock, and similar plants with excellent soil-binding properties. This highly visible site should assist in raising the profile of river bank stabilisation works in the region.

Hawkesbury City Council

Governor Phillip Park Bank Stabilisation Project

It is estimated that over 30,000 people visit Govenor Phillip Park at the confluence of the Hawkesbury River and South Creek each year, while an extra 10,000 witness the finish of the annual Bridge-to-Bridge Ski Race. The park also contains the only official public boat ramp in the Hawkesbury. Due to the high boating activity, the banks have become degraded and are suffering significant bank erosion and slumping, increasing siltation of the river. This project aims to reinforce banks, using a combination of techniques, including hard engineering such as rock revetments, and revegetation works using native emergent aquatic plants along the toe of the bank to help reduce wave action while not impeding the view for spectators. Rock and log retaining walls will be constructed around the boat ramp to stabilise banks and reduce sediment input to the river.

Hornsby Shire Council

Erosion assessment of the Lower Hawkesbury estuary shoreline

The Lower Hawkesbury Estuary foreshore has recently been mapped to better understand the distribution of estuarine habitats and the potential threat to these habitats from human activity. The mapping has shown that a large percentage of the shoreline, especially in the upper reaches of the estuary, are categorised as being comprised of soft materials. This type of shoreline, in particular, can be easily impacted by waves. Shoreline erosion can have serious implications for the sustainability and biodiversity of aquatic and riparian ecosystems impacted by sedimentation. There is a need to quantify areas with high erosion rates for remedial action, through establishment of a baseline, based on a long-term monitoring strategy and the identification of potential factors contributing to high levels of erosion. This information will assist in establishing best management responses to maintain or improve shoreline habitats and minimise impacts on sensitive nearby aquatic ecosystems.

Hawkesbury River sea grass protection and awareness

Seagrasses provide important habitat, shelter and food which is critical to the survival of a wide variety of estuarine species. This is a collaborative project between Hornsby Council and NSW Roads and Maritime Services which aims to protect fragile seagrass beds near Brooklyn, Dangar Island and Kangaroo Point. These seagrass areas are subjected to high levels of boat use and damage from boat propellers and anchoring. In order to remediate and protect these areas, the project will deploy strategically placed marker buoys around the edge of the seagrass beds at Kangaroo Point and refurbish those currently deployed at Dangar Island and Brooklyn Harbour. The intention is to alert boat users to the presence of seagrasses and direct boat traffic away from these areas. These works will complement education initiatives already undertaken, such as locating seagrass beds on boat user maps, provision of seagrass sticker maps and awareness campaigns. NSW Roads and Maritime will maintain the marker buoys through time with the assistance of Hornsby Shire Council when required.

Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority

Bank protection, Cobbans Creek to Ramsar Road, Ash Island, Hunter River South Arm: Stage 1

This project seeks to stabilise the eroding river bank on the South Arm of the Hunter River between Cobbans Creek and Ramsar Road at Kooragang Wetlands (Ash Island) in the Hunter River estuary through construction of rock fillets and rock revetment. Rock fillets will promote the recovery of mangroves and riparian vegetation, leading to improved fish habitat. Rock revetment will prevent further erosion of the river bank while allowing public access to the river bank to fishers. This stage of the work covers the investigation, design, documentation and consents.

Conservation and Rehabilitation Masterplan for the Hunter Estuary

The project will develop an estuary-wide conservation Masterplan that provides clear priorities for implementation for future conservation and rehabilitation as per Strategy 6 of the Hunter Estuary Management Plan, 2009. The Masterplan is needed to provide direction for conservation and rehabilitation efforts on the ground and will be used to form collaborations around identified sites. It will incorporate all the most up-to-date information that is available throughout the estuary with the datasets that were used for the Hunter Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan. The project will involve the development of a large practical map-based Masterplan showing the current on-ground works and identifying priority areas for future works, including specific habitat areas and connections (green corridors) between habitats.

Monitoring Restoration Works - Hunter Estuary Stage 2

This project fulfils the State Consent conditions and will monitor hydrodynamics, vegetation (including saltmarsh), shorebirds and occurrence of green and golden bell frog following creek restoration works to improve tidal flushing of Dead Mangrove Creek. Vegetation response to restoration works will be surveyed to assess if the desired outcomes have been achieved in each area. Occurrence of the frog species will be surveyed in the vicinity of restoration works so that their presence or absence can be considered in the assessment of the restoration activities. These results will be made available so that they can assist in the design and implementation of similar works in other areas.

Kempsey Shire Council

Implementation of Strategy 18 - Macleay River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan

Rotary Park on the Jerseyville foreshore is a very popular location for many local and transient visitors to the lower Macleay River estuary. The park precinct contains a public playground and community amenity facilities, a popular boat ramp and an environmental riparian rehabilitation project site. Strategy 18 of the Macleay River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan (2012) identified that specific public infrastructure, such as the Jerseyville site, is at risk from erosion. Recent climatic conditions and ever-increasing boating activities have culminated in increased riverbank erosion that is imposing significant environmental, social and economic impacts. It is proposed to selectively position large rock armouring along approximately 200 m of riverbank foreshore to provide long-term bank stability and reduce the threat of erosion along the foreshore area.

Kiama Municipal Council

Minnamurra River Estuary Management Plan Review

The Minnamurra River Estuary Management Plan was adopted by Kiama Municipal Council and Shellharbour City Council in November 1995 and reviewed in May 2003. Since then, the councils have implemented most of the actions identified within the plan, with considerable benefit to the health of the estuary. Since the plan was developed, the body of knowledge on the potential impacts of climate change on physical and ecological processes within estuaries has increased, and new policies have been released by the NSW Government to guide local councils in their preparations for climate change impacts. Kiama Council will review the Minnamurra River Estuary Management Plan to consider the potential impacts of climate change and refocus priorities now that many of the actions identified in the original plan (and review) have been implemented. The review process will provide additional opportunities for the local community to have a say in the management of Minnamurra River. The review will identify actions to address climate change issues that require further research and funding prior to implementation.

Kogarah City Council

Carss Park Seawall Estuarine Habitat Development - Design and Construction

This project involves the design and construction of an environmentally friendly seawall to replace the existing concrete vertical seawall at Carss Park. The project will reintroduce protected ecological communities of saltmarsh and mangrove, while also continuing the incorporation of rockpool designs introduced by the council at Dover Park East. Concept designs for the project have been developed and consequently require detailed engineering designs prior to construction.

Lake Macquarie City Council

It's all up-hill from here - preparing Lake Macquarie wetlands for retreat

A 2010 study showed that, with a predicted rise of 90 cm in lake levels, 680 ha (28%) of Lake Macquarie's 2400 ha of tidal and freshwater wetlands will be permanently inundated. However, there is more than 6000 ha of potential retreat area. This project will look at the four largest and most diverse wetland complexes in Lake Macquarie and develop strategies to manage their retreat. The project will draw on existing studies to look at ecological values and services, condition, land use, and barriers to retreat. It will develop recommendations for land-use and development planning, land acquisition, infrastructure planning, and works to improve the structural and ecological condition and resilience of the wetlands and retreat areas.

Lane Cove Municipal Council

Lane Cove River - Stormwater Works to Restore Corridor, Lovetts and Buffalo Creek Reserves

Lovetts Reserve and Buffalo Creek Reserve form part of a regionally significant wildlife corridor along the Lane Cove River. Buffalo Creek Reserve also forms part of the Great North Walk. This significant section of wildlife corridor is subject to uncontrolled stormwater outlets discharging from the reserves and neighbouring properties, resulting in sedimentation and weed invasion in key foreshore communities, including endangered ecological communities of Coastal Saltmarsh and Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest. Stormwater works will improve water quality and reduce erosion and sedimentation in these communities. Bush regeneration works will restore six hectares of core habitat for wildlife, including threatened fauna, such as the grey-headed flying fox and powerful owl. Additionally, an environmental education program targeting neighbouring properties will improve water quality via letterbox drop and brochure focusing on stormwater and weed control. The project has been identified as high priority in the draft Lane Cove River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan (2012).

Gore Creek - stormwater works to protect saltmarsh (EEC) Stage 2 - Implementation

In 2012-13, OEH funded the Stage 1 planning and design of stormwater works to protect saltmarsh areas along Gore Creek. Two studies - the Gore Creek Stormwater Rehabilitation Saltmarsh Protection and the Vegetation Management Plan and maps - were produced. This Stage 2 project is the implementation of those works, which includes vegetation zones and erosion controls to improve the stability, ecosystem heath and aesthetics of the area using bush regeneration and soft rehabilitation methods. The proposed works will address erosion and sediment control; aeration of stormwater leading to improvement in water quality; stormwater channel lining and capping and diversion; regeneration and revegetation of native vegetation directly adjacent to stormwater works; damage to Aboriginal sites caused from stormwater erosion; and protection and enhancement of the endangered Saltmarsh Vegetation Communities downstream.

Leichhardt Municipal Council

Blackmore Oval Constructed Wetland

Leichhardt Council has proposed a two-stage stormwater treatment and harvesting scheme at Blackmore Oval, Lilyfield. The wetland will treat stormwater from a 2-ha, highly polluted 100% impervious catchment, carrying runoff from the City-West Link. Stormwater has been identified as one of the major causes of environmental degradation in Sydney Harbour bays. The project will replace a non-functioning sediment basin with a constructed wetland. The wetland will be designed to restore a highly degraded freshwater habitat within a densely urbanised area. Arterial roads are major sources of heavy metals, oils and hydrocarbons. Baseflows will be treated by directing baseflow from a 56-ha catchment into the wetland.

A subsequent stage of the project will involve the construction of a stormwater harvesting system to replace 5.7ML per yearr of potable water for irrigation and further reducing pollutant loads entering Iron Cove.

Marrickville Council

Alice Lane Newtown Stormwater Improvement Works - Cooks River Estuary

This project to build a biofiltration system in Newtown is a priority action in the Eastern Channel East Subcatchment Plan, developed as part of the NSW Government-funded Our River - Cooks River Sustainability Initiative. The project delivers on the council's Strategy for a Water Sensitive Community objective to achieve the NSW Government’s Botany Bay Water Quality Improvement Program target pollutant concentrations for stormwater discharged to the Cooks River. The works form part of the Alice Lane Living Lane project that is using a co-governance approach to construct a biofiltration system in the context of greening the lane with the local community for itsr benefit and use. It builds on the relationships local people and landholders developed with State Government agencies when creating the Eastern Channel East Subcatchment Plan.

Kays Avenue East Marrickville Stormwater Improvement Works - Cooks River Estuary

This project to build a bioretention system in Marrickville South is a priority action in the Riverside Crescent Subcatchment Plan. It delivers on Marrickville Council’s Strategy for a Water Sensitive Community objective to achieve the NSW Government’s Botany Bay Water Quality Improvement Program target pollutant concentrations for stormwater discharged to the Cooks River. The rain garden project is part of the Kays Avenue East Living Lane Project that is using a co-governance approach to construct a bioretention system in the context of greening the lane with the local community for its benefit and use. It builds on the relationships local people and landholders developed  with State Government agencies when creating the Riverside Crescent Subcatchment Plan.

Nambucca Shire Council

Nambucca River Estuary Water Quality Improvement Project - Stuart Island and Boulton's Crossing

The Nambucca River is the focal point of the Nambucca Shire in terms of environmental values, tourism activities, community recreation and amenity and aquaculture production. The project will improve the natural environment at Stuart Island through restoration and revegetation of the river bank with local native plant species and, at Boulton's Crossing campground on Warrell Creek, implement urgently required sewage treatment works to protect water quality. The project, located on the Nambucca River and its tributary Warrell Creek, will improve the water quality of the estuary and help maintain its ecological and biological values, protect oyster production, and ensure that the river remains a key tourism attraction and community amenity.

Newcastle City Council

Hunter Estuary Hydrodynamic Model (Stage 1)

This project proposes development of a new overarching hydrodynamic model for the Hunter Estuary to assist in decision-making for a range of water users. The full project will be implemented in three stages. The overall aim of the project is to develop a coordinated whole-of-government physical processes model for the Hunter Estuary that uses the best available data, produces consistent results, reduces uncertainty and is available for use by regulators, proponents and decision-makers.

Newcastle is recognised as having the greatest potential for future port expansion and population growth in NSW. It is timely to consider the strategic development of a common understanding of critical information to inform future decisions and protect the health of the estuary and the services it provides. Such a model will assist government and industry in managing the challenges facing water resources of the Hunter Valley and ensuring decision-making is informed to achieve sustainable development. The use of a robust model will assist in the accurate assessment of large development proposals or land-use changes in the Hunter Valley and the subsequent impacts on the health of the Hunter Estuary.

Hunter River Foreshore Rehabilitation - Stockton Ballast Ground

Stockton Ballast Ground forms part of the Hunter River foreshore in the Hunter Estuary. Degradation of the site has occurred from the impacts of erosive tidal flows and significant weather events. Rehabilitation of the Hunter River foreshore at Stockton has been identified as a priority project after considering recent asset condition inspections and reports, including the Hunter Estuary Management Plan 2009 and South Stockton Public Domain Plan 2012. The project aims to achieve improved habitat and stability of the foreshore, including mangrove recruitment though the design, construction and landscaping of 300 metres of foreshore lands.

Stockton Sandspit Rehabilitation Works

The Stockton Sandspit is a Ramsar-listed wetland and part of the Hunter Wetlands National Park (HWNP). The Hunter Estuary is recognised as the most important area in NSW for shorebirds with Stockton Sandspit a major site for high-tide roosts by shorebirds. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is currently preparing a Plan of Management for the HWNP and the council has recently completed a Landscape Master Plan for the land it owns adjacent to Stockton Sandspit. Both plans recommend a suite of management actions to protect and enhance the values of Stockton Sandspit.

The project will be a partnership between NPWS, Kooragang Wetlands Rehabilitation Project and the council to undertake rehabilitation works at the Sandspit. Works will include weeding and revegetation with native species; design of a viewing deck; design of priority accessway works; and installation of signage.

Parramatta City Council

Ermington Bay Wetlands Saltmarsh Protection and Riparian Restoration Stage 1

Archer Park on the Parramatta River foreshore, forms part of the Ermington Bay Wetlands which are listed on the Register of the National Estate as significant remnant wetlands. There are many negative impacts on this regionally significant area, including weed infestation, dumping, excessive nutrient inputs and sedimentation due to eroding soils. In order to protect the endangered Coastal Saltmarsh and mangrove communities, these impacts need to be addressed. This will be done through a combination of litter removal, crushed sandstone capping, capture of runoff, revegetation and fencing to reinstate this area to a more natural state for local fauna, including the threatened grey-headed flying fox and migratory bird species listed in the JAMBA, CAMBA and ROKAMBA. Other outcomes include water quality improvements, reduced weed infestations, healthier saltmarsh and mangrove communities and benefits to fauna through habitat and food source creation.

Pittwater Council

Currawong Reserve Seawall Improvements

Currawong Reserve is a popular Pittwater Council reserve used for launching small boats, walking and dog exercise. The reserve covers an area of approximately 2000 square metres and a 100-metre stretch of foreshore to Pittwater Estuary. In 1992-93, the council undertook foreshore stabilisation works of 65 m of the embankment of Currawong Reserve employing Environmentally Friendly Seawall guidelines. This left a section of approximately 20 m of traditional vertical seawall and 20 m of informal seawall constructed predominantly of brick bats which poses a significant hazard to public safety and leaves the foreshore susceptible to erosion. The council is now proposing to rebuild and improve the section of eroding foreshore and one poorly constructed boat ramp and replace them with an improved and environmentally friendly structure which matches the southern section of the seawall. This will remove the existing hazard, restore the amenity of the area, provide habitat for marine life and ensure the seawall can withstand future frequent storms and wave impact.

Shellharbour City Council

Restoring Oakey Creek

Oakey Creek is in Oak Flats, Shellharbour and an enthusiastic group of Bushcare volunteers has been working in the reserve for the past five years. The area is comprised of Swamp Oak Flooded Forest (SOFF) and saltmarsh plant communities. Grant funding will assist the group in reducing Lantana camara and Anredera codifolia (madeira vine), both Weeds of National Significance throughout the corridor.

Shoalhaven City Council

Catchment Stormwater Assessment: Shoalhaven River Lake Wollumboola

Shoalhaven Council's review of the city-wide Stormwater Management Plan will include development of an urban area hydraulic model to provide the necessary intelligence for targeting water quality improvements most effectively. Preparation of the model will involve the following:

  • check Section 94 plans for existing information and designs
  • define the main catchments from topography
  • define subcatchments taking into account topography, existing drainage structures and roads
  • calculate the area for each subcatchment
  • define outlet points for each subcatchment
  • identify network linkagesand draw a skeleton node model.

Estuary Foreshore Rehabilitation/stabilisation - Lake Tabourie Conjola, Burrill Lake, St Georges Basin

Existing foreshore stabilisation at these locations is generally in poor condition due to typical erosion processes and high levels of recreational use. Consultation during 2012 confirmed erosion remediation at these sites remains a priority for the community and elected councillors. Concept Plans have been endorsed by community representatives of the relevant Natural Resources and Floodplain Management Committee and provide a typical treatment design to be developed and confirmed during the consultation/design phase.

Tweed Shire Council

Tweed Coastal Floodplain - Acid Sulfate Soils Hotspot Identification and Remediation

Degradation of the coastal floodplain through drainage modification for agriculture is a key issue affecting water quality in the Tweed Coastal Estuaries. The recently completed Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan for these systems recommends ongoing remediation of prioritised acid-producing drains in Clothiers, Reserve and Christies creeks, and fine-scale identification of hotspots in the Mooball Creek catchment. Tweed Shire Council, in partnership with researchers and the farming community, has been identifying specific drainage reaches where techniques such as drain filling and shallowing can be undertaken to reduce the export of acid, iron and aluminium. Networks of loggers have been deployed to identify the relatively small proportion of drain reaches where most of the runoff from acid sulfate soils is generated and exported to the environment. The project will implement the findings of existing research by identifying drain reaches for remediation, undertaking remediation and improving land management capability. As a result, water quality and aquatic habitat values will be improved.

Wollongong City Council

Restoring estuarine endangered ecological communities in three Northern Illawarra Riparian Corridors

This project aims to restore endangered ecological communities at three key sites in the Wollongong LGA. The sites are Fairy Meadow Lagoon, Bellambi Gully Creek and Collins Creek Estuary. Restoration activities will include weed tree removal, weed control and revegetation. Primary and secondary weed control will be undertaken over approximately 31,500 square metres in these estuaries and 2800 plants will be sown to reinstall species indigenous to the endangered ecological communities present, including Swamp Sclerophyll Forest on Coastal Floodplains, Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest and Freshwater Wetlands on Coastal Floodplains.

Page last updated: 17 July 2013