Estuary management grants 2014-15

Ballina Shire Council

Chickiba wetlands SEPP 14 restoration project

The Chickiba wetlands are of significant environmental value in a highly fragmented landscape which has suffered from wide-ranging human induced impacts. It is a designated SEPP 14 site, which is dominated by endangered ecological communities and threatened species. An action plan to rehabilitate the wetland by restoring its natural hydrology has been developed, which aims to improve the health of over eight hectares of native vegetation. Improvements to the drainage of the wetland involve the clearing and enhancement of existing drains and the installation of a weir barrier to reduce saltwater inundation. Vegetation rehabilitation works will be undertaken to compensate for native vegetation that is disturbed by the drainage works and to restore the SEPP 14 wetland to its original condition.

Northlakes Ballina - Water Quality Management Plan implementation

This project will implement the actions identified in the coastal zone management plan for the Richmond River Estuary and the Northlakes Water Quality Improvement Management Plan to improve water quality within and discharged from the lakes immediately and into the future. A partnership with Wetland Care will provide a professional, focused and friendly way for the community to be involved in managing the lakes, with council undertaking the technical works involved. This project addresses a long-standing issue for local residents and surrounding subdivisions, which is a source of poor quality water entering North Creek close to oyster leases, recreational fishing sites and popular swimming areas. On-ground works will include drain clearing to increase drainage and tidal flushing to reduce water retention times, increase water flushing and improve water quality.

Bega Valley Shire Council

Beach Street foreshore stabilisation project

The existing log and rubble retaining wall currently in place at Beach Street has aged significantly and is in a state of disrepair. The original wall was installed in the 1960s and constructed without the use of geofabric matting; thus, leaching of sediments are affecting nearby seagrass and mangrove communities. Moreover, this also has negative impacts on the local oyster industry, which is sensitive to sediment entering the waterway after rainfall. The current state of the wall also poses public safety risks and has a negative impact on the recreational use of the facility. Bega Valley Shire Council aims to remove the aged wall and replace it with a modern-designed rock wall using the same techniques carried out on previous stages of the Merimbula Lake rock wall program. This project is seen as the last step in completing the major foreshore stabilisation and erosion control works required around the front section of the lake.

Rapid Catchment Assessment - Cuttagee Lake, Middle Lagoon and Nelsons Lagoon

Bega Valley Shire Council aims to conduct a ’Rapid Catchment Assessment’ on three catchments within the shire (Cuttagee Lake, Nelsons and Middle Lagoons). These intermittent closed and open lakes and lagoons (ICOLLs) possess significant ecological, recreational and socioeconomic values, all of which are reliant on good water quality. The aim of this project is to identify actual and potential threats within each catchment and provide council with recommendations based on appropriate remediation or land-use management techniques for the issues identified. Recommendations will be implemented into a catchment management plan and implemented as funding allows. This rapid visual assessment will be based on the successful Healthy Rivers Commission approach which has been showcased in other local studies conducted by Local Land Services. This approach identifies the processes and drivers in the catchment and assesses the waterway for areas of conservation potential, targeted repair and longer-term sustainable use.

Bellingen Shire Council

Friesians & Fish - Bellinger River foodplain and estuary water quality improvement

This project aims to improve dairy effluent management practices to reduce potential impacts on water quality in the Bellingen River estuary - an important environmental, social and economic public asset. Three floodplain endangered ecological communities remain along the estuary and provide habitat for at least nine threatened species. Dairy farming is the dominant land use surrounding the estuary and in 2011, 11 dairy farms undertook a voluntary assessment of effluent management practices. This project will provide matched incentive funding for implementation of priority actions including: underground pipes for effluent irrigation field expansion to best management targets; concrete aprons and laneways to reduce sedimentation; riparian fencing and bush regeneration to reduce erosion and improve native vegetation; and a field day for industry/community education and networking. This project is a partnership between Bellingen Shire Council, Landcare and dairy farmers, with support from Local Land Services, Norco Dairy Cooperative, Urunga Anglers and oyster growers.

Coffs Harbour City Council

Arrawarra Creek Coastal Zone Management Plan

The development of the Arrawarra Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for Arrawarra Creek will aim to preserve environmental and cultural values. The main issues relating to the creek are bank erosion, entrance management, Aboriginal heritage management and water quality. The CZMP for Arrawarra Creek will include the assembly of existing data on the creek, community consultation, development of an Estuary Condition Study, CZMP, and an implementation schedule of strategic actions.

Coffs Harbour estuary ecohealth

Key objectives for completed estuary management plans within the Coffs Harbour local government area (LGA) include estuary ecosystem and water quality health checks. Ecohealth is a cost-effective way to undertake an estuary health check - a periodic (three to four year) assessment of key ecosystem and water quality indicators. This form of assessment allows council to address any issues identified and to monitor trends in system health over time. Council initiated ecohealth in 2010. A technical report was produced by the University of New England indicating some sites are in good health and others in poor health. Since 2010 there have been changes in catchment land use. Council intends to revisit estuaries in the LGA and reassess estuarine condition. The project will also refine trigger values and produce up-to-date estuary health report cards that track how well each estuary is being managed. It will also inform the community of the current health of its estuaries.

Eurobodalla Shire Council

Endangered Ecological Communities Conservation works across Eurobodalla Estuaries 2015

This project will involve weeding and revegetation works, as well as implementing localised community education programs to improve the condition of five major estuaries of the Eurobodalla Shire and increase community awareness and participation in environmental protection works.

Fairfield City Council

Orphan School Creek Rehabilitation - Avoca Road to Cumberland Highway, Canley Heights

Orphan School Creek is the most significant tributary of Prospect Creek and the second longest creek in the Fairfield City Council area. It is also one of the city's most valuable natural assets. Like many urban creeks it has been severely impacted by increased stormwater runoff caused by land clearing and urban development. This has led to significant bed and bank erosion and weed infestation. This threatens remaining riparian vegetation and public assets. The goal of this project is to rehabilitate 800 metres of Orphan School Creek between Avoca Road and Cumberland Highway at Canley Heights. The proposed work will utilise a combination of environmental rehabilitation, stormwater management and landscaping works. This will ultimately reduce bed and bank erosion, improve water quality, restore locally native vegetation and provide greater amenity for the local community.

Great Lakes Council

Southern Wallis foreshore restoration plan - Stage 1       

A comprehensive foreshore management plan for the crown reserve system for the foreshore area will be completed.  The plan will identify priority management issues for water quality, biodiversity and cultural heritage protection in southern Wallis Lake.  A comprehensive community engagement process will be undertaken to help direct the plan and make recommendations for appropriate public use of foreshore areas and adjacent lands, and future community education programs.

Implementing Water Sensitive Urban Design for water quality improvement       

This project addresses poor water quality, focusing on rehabilitating the most degraded part of Wallis Lake.  A bio-retention trench will be constructed downstream of a stormwater drain to filter nutrients and sediments prior to entering Wallis Lake. The project also involves the investigation and assessment for refurbishment of the Townsend Street constructed wetland in Forster.

Ecological health assessment of Wallis Lake-  Karuah and Myalll Rivers   

Great Lakes Council will undertake an ecosystem health assessment of the Wallis Lake Estuary, focusing on key ecological indicators including chlorophyll, turbidity, temperature and dissolved oxygen, and the health and extent of seagrass and reliant sponge communities within southern Wallis Lake.  This project will also include a ten-year review of the ecological health of the upper reaches of the Wallis, Myall and Karuah catchments to assess stream health.          

Improving estuary health- Fostering community action in the Karuah - Myall      

Catchment land-use has been identified as a primary threat to the ecological health of the Karuah River, Myall Lakes and wider Port Stephens estuary; in particular land management practices which contribute to high turbidity, elevated nutrient levels and poor riparian zone health. Through education and engagement, this project aims to improve land manager understanding of catchment processes and the role that land management practices play within the catchment, to facilitate positive changes to land management and long term improvement of water quality and ecological condition.

Greater Taree City Council

Big Swamp - Broad acre acid sulfate soil remediation to improve the health of the Manning River

The Big Swamp rehabilitation project is a broad acre wetland remediation project within the Pipeclay Canal - Cattai Creek catchment, which is predominantly degraded agricultural land with some areas containing significant coastal wetland communities. Currently, the site discharges significant volumes of acid sulfate soil products into the Cattai Creek Manning River estuary which is highly detrimental to the estuary's health. So far, approximately 700 hectares of land have been acquired and rehabilitated. The project aims to rehabilitate an additional 40 hectares of the Big Swamp landscape to minimise acid sulfate discharge into the Manning River and improve estuarine health, while also achieving additional ecological benefits of a rehabilitated landscape.

Continuation of Protecting the Health of the Manning project

This project proposes the continuation of the existing funded Estuary Management Plan project ‘Protecting the Health of the Manning’, which aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • implementation of a monitoring program in the Manning River which is effective in providing estuary health information consistent with NSW monitoring, evaluating and reporting standards and protocols
  • collection, analysis and collation of water quality data for inclusion in a report card for community dissemination, and to enable comparison with other estuaries in NSW
  • producing and publishing a State of the Manning annual report card  to promote the results of the water quality monitoring program and raise community awareness of the health of the estuary and associated human-induced impacts.

Dyers Crossing weir removal and fish ladder construction project

This project is planned to partially remove an existing fish barrier (Dyers Crossing Weir) and construct a rock fish ladder to scale the remaining lower half of the weir wall to enable fish access to upstream habitat for breeding purposes. Community consultation has already commenced with adjacent landholders who are concerned about loss of the entire weir wall. The weir pool is an important local platypus habitat, a stock watering pool and serves as a barrier between private properties. Partially removing the wall and constructing a fish ladder to scale the remaining half of the wall is proposed to enable fish passage without the complete loss of the weir pool.

Manning estuary floodgate projects

This project includes works to repair riparian areas of the Manning River Estuary, and includes river bank erosion repair works, removal of Sharp Rush, and rehabilitation of saltmarsh areas. This project aims to address immediate threats to the riparian areas through stabilisation of active erosion sites, removal of environmental weeds, and addressing threats to saltmarsh through fencing, grazing removal and weed control for habitat protection and water quality improvements.

The project aims to implement works to rehabilitate saltmarsh, and this will be done through a variety of methods identified for each site; including fencing to exclude stock, weed control, soil erosion treatments, and other methods as appropriate. Removal of Sharp Rush has been identified as a priority action as Sharp Rush is currently spreading in the Manning River Estuary and dominating saltmarsh sites. It spreads by seed on water and stock (legs) to new sites, and smothers saltmarsh vegetation as it is taller and more vigorous than the native Saltmarsh Rush. About 10 hectares is currently known in the estuary. River bank erosion involves implementation of works at active river bank erosion sites to reduce soil loss from sites into the estuary, and works normally involve a number of treatment methods including fencing to exclude stock, rock fillets (in estuary) to enable Mangrove recruitment, earthworks (to reshape banks to reduce steepness and enable access), surface erosion control (hydromulching and seeding) and revegetation (Lomandra and riparian trees/shrubs) to provide long-term stability and deep soil keying-in.

Manning River estuary riparian fencing and roadside erosion control projects

The aim of this project is to protect water quality in the Manning River estuary and includes projects to assist landholders to implement riparian fencing (to exclude stock from river frontages to provide infiltration zones of ungrazed vegetation to allow natural regeneration, improve river bank stability and reduce sediment and nutrients entering the waterway from overland flows). The project plans to implement projects in collaboration with private landholders. The project also includes implementation of roadside erosion works to reduce sediment and nutrients from entering waterways and into the estuary. The project plans to involve the Local Land Services in the development and implementation of projects given their history of work in this area, and their cost benchmarks will be used to assess project proposals. Landholders will be required to involve Greater Taree City Council staff in development of the project to ensure they are technically sound, and contribute to the implementation and ongoing maintenance of the project.

Manning River estuary water quality protection projects

This project aims to protect the water quality of the Manning River estuary, and includes projects to review and upgrade eight gross pollutant traps (GPT), implement additional measures to reduce pollutants from urban waterways, implement dairy nutrient management works within the floodplain, and undertake soil erosion control works to reduce sediment inputs into the estuary. Browns Creek in Taree will be a focus for implementation of the works as Greater Taree City Council (GTCC) is currently developing a pollution control strategy with the Friends of Browns Creek group, which will prioritise sites and identify a range of treatment options (e.g. surface swales, GPTs, table drain treatments etc). If there are sufficient funds then additional sites will be used to implement additional works (such as Racecourse Creek at Old Bar, Wards Creek at Harrington, etc). The Dairy effluent management projects will be developed using the existing programs and networks developed by the Dairy Advancement Group and the Hunter Local Land Services. The results of the proposed programs will be monitored via GTCC's existing Manning River Monitoring Program.

Manning River riparian rehabilitation project

This project includes works to repair riparian areas of the Manning River estuary and includes river bank erosion repair works, removal of sharp rush, and rehabilitation of saltmarsh areas. It aims to address immediate threats to the riparian areas through stabilisation of active erosion sites, removal of environmental weeds, and addressing threats to saltmarsh through fencing, grazing removal and weed control for habitat protection and water quality improvements.

The project aims to implement works to rehabilitate saltmarsh, and this will be done through a variety of methods identified for each site, including fencing to exclude stock, weed control, soil erosion treatments, and other methods as appropriate. Removal of Sharp Rush has been identified as a priority action as Sharp Rush is currently spreading in the Manning River estuary and dominating saltmarsh sites. It spreads by seed through water and stock (legs) to new sites, and smothers saltmarsh vegetation as it is taller and more vigorous than the native saltmarsh rush. About 10 hectares are currently known to be affected in the estuary. River bank erosion involves implementation of works at active river bank erosion sites to reduce soil loss from sites into the estuary, and works normally involve a number of treatment methods including fencing to exclude stock, rock fillets (in estuary) to enable Mangrove recruitment, earthworks (to reshape banks to reduce steepness and enable access), surface erosion control (hydromulching and seeding) and revegetation (Lomandra and riparian trees/shrubs) to provide long-term stability and deep soil keying-in.

Hunter Local Land Services

Stage 1 - Conservation and rehabilitation masterplan implementation

The project aims to provide detail on priority areas for riparian restoration in the Lower Hunter estuary so that efforts can be concentrated towards achieving on-ground works. The process will begin by  providing detail to the concept masterplan. Stage 2 will review available riparian assessments, consult with stakeholders and provide details on current feasibility of sites for works consistent with Strategy 6 of the Hunter Estuary Management Plan 2009. Identification of priority areas will help to make best use of available funding. This process can also be used to form collaborations for identified sites to assist in implementing on-ground works. Riverbank monitoring techniques will be reviewed and the most suitable techniques will be trialled as part of the process of monitoring, evaluation, review and improvement of restoration activities.

Stage 2 - Bank protection - Cobbans Creek to Ramsar Road, Ash Island, Hunter River south arm

This project proposes to stabilise the eroding riverbank along the south arm of the Hunter River between Cobbans Creek and Ramsar Road at Kooragang Wetlands (Ash Island) in the Hunter River estuary through the construction of rock revetment. Rock revetment will prevent further erosion of the riverbank while allowing public access to the river bank. This stage of the work covers the construction at the highest priority section of the site. Planting of riparian vegetation will be undertaken to restore the construction site.

Stage 3 - Monitoring restoration works - Area E and Dead Mangrove Creek

This project fulfils the State Consent conditions for two adjacent sites:

  1. Area E will monitor hydrodynamics, vegetation (including saltmarsh), shorebirds and occurrence of the Green and Golden Bell frog following management of hydrology in Area E to restore saltmarsh as shorebird habitat. The response to vegetation restoration works will be assessed. These results will be made available in a report that can assist in the design and implementation of similar works locally and further afield.
  2. Baseline monitoring for Dead Mangrove Creek project has been undertaken, now the Consent Conditions for pre-construction will be implemented.

Hurstville City Council

Upper Boggywell Creek Water Quality Improvement Scheme stage 1 design

Upper Boggywell Creek is located in Gannons Park and receives stormwater runoff from the adjacent urban and light industrial areas of Peakhurst. The stormwater runoff contains nutrients and sediments which drains untreated directly into the Georges River Estuary. The quality of this water is poor and lies outside the ANZECC and Georges River regional guidelines. Gannons Park has significance both as a recreational space and also as a habitat for native flora and fauna. The Upper Boggywell Creek Water Quality Improvement Scheme proposes the installation of a bioretention system, storage pond and the daylighting of stormwater lines through the use of swales to increase the quality of the water flowing to Boggywell Creek and the Georges River Estuary. Additionally, the project will lead to the creation of habitat to improve biodiversity and amenity. Concept and detailed designs will be produced as the first stage of this project.

Kempsey Shire Council

Implementation of Management Issue 4 - Korogoro Creek Estuary Management Plan

Korogoro Creek is a small coastal estuarine environment located adjacent to the coastal village of Hat Head, NSW. Extensively modified by flood mitigation works in the late 1960s, the estuary is approximately 4.5 km long and is currently experiencing varying degrees of riverbank erosion. Management Issue 4 of the adopted Korogoro Creek Estuary Management Plan (2009) identified river bank erosion within the mid to lower sections of the estuary as an issue of concern. This project will include strategically positioning suitably sized, locally sourced rock to construct rock armouring along a number of eroded bank sites (whilst maintaining public accessibility), and construction of mangrove rock fillets when riverbank and river shelf banks allow.

Implementation of Strategy U - Saltwater Creek and Lagoon Estuary Management Plan

Saltwater Creek and Lagoon is an estuarine ICOLL environment (intermittently closed and open lagoons and lakes) located within the Kempsey Shire local government area. The estuary is adjacent to an expanding urban landscape. A number of stormwater outlets discharge directly into the system. In 2006 the Saltwater Creek & Lagoon Estuary Management Study and Plan was developed. The Estuary Management Program (EMP) identified that the estuary is already at or exceeding its natural capacity to accept catchment loads. Strategy 'U' of the EMP recommends retrofitting stormwater outlets with filtration devices. Funding will assist Council in retrofitting two stormwater outlets with filtration mechanisms.

Macleay River Catchment ecosystem health monitoring program - Ecohealth

The development of a standardised means of collecting, analysing and presenting riverine, coastal and estuarine assessments of ecological condition has been identified as a key need for coastal Catchment Management Authorities (now Local Land Services) and local councils who are required to monitor natural resource condition and water quality in these systems. Using the framework of the South East Queensland Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program and protocols developed by the NSW Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting estuaries team, this monitoring program will provide consistency in monitoring and reporting, and establish the partnerships required for local and regional dissemination of outcomes. It will provide a means of benchmarking the health of the estuary against historic data and will provide a vital mechanism to educate the community about estuary health and the issues influencing it. The project will also provide a means of refining and updating the remedial actions and direction of the established Estuary Management Plans for the estuary and contribute to State of Environment reporting.

Lake Macquarie City Council

Rehabilitating foreshores of Lake Macquarie 2014-15

Foreshore erosion around the shores of Lake Macquarie is known to result in a deterioration of water quality, loss of habitat and a reduction in the amenity of these popular areas. This project will rehabilitate eroding foreshores at priority locations using a mix of proven rehabilitation techniques, and the refinement of proven treatments to trial innovative techniques to deal with a projected rise in lake water levels due to climate change. Preliminary works have been undertaken to develop designs to accommodate higher lake levels and using these results a site will be selected to use for demonstrating these techniques. For the other sites the cobble beach treatment, which Council has used successfully in other areas, will be implemented.

Restoring urban creeks in the City of Lake Macquarie 2014-15

The health of the Lake Macquarie estuary is highly dependent on inflows from its catchment and tributaries. The increasing volumes of runoff from urbanised catchments is resulting in an increasing proportion of lake sediment inflows (and other pollutants) being generated by eroding stream banks. This project aims to undertake stream bank stabilisation works and riparian vegetation rehabilitation in priority tributaries throughout the lake catchment. Development of priority sites has been informed by studies and management plans, including the Cockle Creek Improvement Study, the Lake Macquarie Ecological Response Model Project Stage 1 (OEH, 2011) and the Lake Macquarie Estuary Management Plan, as well as ground-truthing of sites by qualified staff. Works will include stream bank and bed stabilisation, rock fillet construction, bush regeneration and riparian revegetation as required. Outcomes from undertaking this project will include: bed and bank erosion control, water quality improvements, improved riparian habitats, as well as increased riparian corridor connectivity.

Wetlands for Wildlife in Lake Macquarie 2014-15

The project aims to address the ongoing degradation of wetland areas around Lake Macquarie by undertaking restoration works in priority locations (as identified in the Lake Macquarie Estuary Management Plan and subsequent management plans). These works aim to improve water quality, restore/preserve habitat values, exclude poor management practice and, as a management response, improve the buffering capacity of wetlands against projected sea level rise.

Liverpool City Council

Jacqui Osmond Reserve stormwater outlet protection, Cabramatta Creek

Sedimentation is a major issue for the Georges River estuary where it damages aquatic flora and causes increased turbidity. This project will address a serious erosion issue around a headwall on Cabramatta Creek where there's scouring of the bank and creek. The site is located within Jacqui Osmond Reserve at Warwick Farm and is part of the Cabramatta Creek Catchment which flows into the Georges River estuary. The works will include bank stabilisation using sandstone rocks and some revegetation works to stop the erosion.

Nambucca Shire Council

Nambucca Shire Council - Nambucca estuary health improvement at Stuart Island

This project will restore the natural estuarine environment at multiple locations in the Nambucca River around Stuart Island. The estuary health improvements will occur through erosion protection works, including the construction of rock revetments and fillets with artificial reef balls incorporated into the subsurface rock walls, and the revegetation of approximately 400 m of river bank. The project will have benefits for estuarine health by decreasing erosion and creating habitat for estuarine organisms.

Newcastle City Council

Gross Street Reserve Tighes Hill - estuarine creek rehabilitation                 

The Gross St Reserve, Tighes Hill Estuarine Creek Rehabilitation Project will restore the habitat and ecological performance of approximately 200m of watercourse and 2,500 square metres of associated riparian zone.  The creek currently conveys untreated urban stormwater runoff, with significant sediment, nutrient, litter and other pollutants into Throsby Creek and the lower Hunter River Estuary.  This project will re-establish natural area values, biodiversity connectivity and local amenity through civil engineering and revegetation.

Parramatta City Council

Rangihou Reserve - Saltmarsh expansion project

This project will undertake saltmarsh protection and expansion in foreshore parkland. Parramatta's Rangihou Reserve is very urbanised and has a very restricted tidal zone resulting in thin strips of remnant saltmarsh species behind existing mangroves. Large areas of turf compete with existing saltmarsh in areas of inundation. The project involves the removal of fill adjacent to the mangrove zone in order to provide a valuable area for fish breeding and other aquatic organisms. The project will also involve a native planting buffer zone to protect the saltmarsh/mangrove zone from encroachment by weeds and nutrient runoff, and to separate critical habitat areas from other parkland activities and impacts, including a new cycleway. The project is 600 metres upstream from two previous saltmarsh expansion projects undertaken by Parramatta City Council in 2007 and 2011.

Ryde City Council

Terry's Creek and Lane Cove River catchment enhancement project

The Lane Cove River is a highly valued estuary draining a catchment area of 88 square kilometres. The catchment includes Terry's Creek, Ryde. This creek has experienced high degradation and change from urban development resulting in consistently high nutrient pollutant levels that connect to the larger estuary, erosion and water quality issues. This project will complete on-ground works at a total of eight locations within Terry's Creek to improve overall water quality to the estuary. This will be achieved by implementation of two stormwater quality improvement devices, using bush regeneration works to remove invasive weed species, plant new riparian areas for habitat improvement and bank stabilisation and construct four erosion control projects to reduce erosion, stabilise creek banks and improve water quality.

Shoalhaven City Council

Estuary bank erosion remediation- Sussex Inlet - Orient point     

Orient Point displays typical bank erosion of a shoreline adjoining a trained river entrance due to tidal scour alteration. This project will improve bank stabilisation using multiple groyne structures, sand nourishment, foreshore access management and revegetation.

Acid sulphate soil remediation- demonstration and engagement for the Shoalhaven

Acid sulphate soil drainage has been identified as a significant contributor to poor water quality in the Shoalhaven River estuary. The project will implement an acid sulphate soil engagement strategy with land owners across the whole Shoalhaven River floodplain and develop drainage remediation demonstration sites for two priority drainage sub-catchments.

The Council of the Municipality of Hunters Hill

Stormwater works to improve water quality and corridor along Tarban Creek

This project will improve water quality in Tarban Creek through the installation of a Gross Pollutant Trap in the tributary of the creekline. Coastal saltmarsh (an endangered ecological community) and mangroves downstream are deteriorating rapidly due to the impacts of dissolved and gross pollutants, sediments and high nutrient waters from stormwater run-off, sewage overflows and weed invasion. Riverglade Reserve and Tarban Creek Reserve form part of a regionally significant wildlife corridor linking the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers. They support small breeding populations of indigenous birds that have disappeared from much of urban Sydney, e.g. small passerine birds. Bush regeneration works will restore 5 hectares of core habitat, particularly for small passerine and migratory birds and threatened fauna i.e. Grey-headed Flying Fox.

The works above have been identified as high priority actions in the Parramatta River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan (2013) and Estuary Vegetation Rehabilitation Action Plan (2011) for the reserves.

The Council of the Shire of Hornsby

Estuarine health monitoring of Hawkesbury's waterways

Estuarine health is influenced by the quantity and quality of runoff. Consistent and frequent water quality data collection will assist catchment managers in the assessment and reporting of estuarine health matters. Currently Hornsby Council manages five real-time water quality monitoring buoys in the Lower Hawkesbury, which provide useful information to commercial fishers, oyster farmers, recreational fishers, boaters, researchers and catchment managers. The information collected during the last five years has been integrated into a number of tools that assist community and estuary users with their operations, in particular, the measurement and management of algal blooms. These tools offer community and estuarine users swimming condition maps and access to publicly available real-time water quality conditions.

Funding is sought to continue this program in order to keep monitoring the health of the Hawkesbury. In particular, the ongoing monitoring will assist in the quantification of inter-annual variability and environmental trends. Maintaining long-term data series is vital under current changing climatic conditions. Quantifying environmental changes and identifying exceedances of water quality thresholds associated with current warming of oceans and estuaries will assist with the management of potential emerging aquatic diseases, pests and harmful algae blooms. Data collected from this monitoring program will assist researchers to better understand estuarine processes and will complement and enhance the state-wide Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting (MER) monitoring initiatives.

The Council of the Shire of Hornsby

Rehabilitation and management of riparian zones in Lower Hawkesbury River Estuary

Restoration of public foreshore vegetation and tributaries flowing into the Hawkesbury River estuary is a high priority for the Lower Hawkesbury Estuary Management Plan (2009). This project delivers an on-ground works program to restore and rehabilitate riparian buffer vegetation at Brooklyn Park, Salt Pan Reserve and Bar Island. In particular, the extent and quality of endangered ecological communities, including Swamp Sclerophyll Forest on Coastal Floodplains, Swamp Oak floodplain forest and Coastal Saltmarsh will be improved. Furthermore, restoration of riparian vegetation will reduce impacts from stormwater by removing and retaining pollutants (e.g. nutrients) that would, otherwise, enter the estuary. The on-ground restoration work will improve vegetation condition with natural regeneration and supplementary planting in identified areas. Drainage lines will be planted to reduce erosion, sedimentation, nutrient loading and weed dispersal before reaching the Hawkesbury River. Foreshore restoration works will reduce weed encroachment, stabilise embankments, improve water quality and enhance the habitat quality. Six hands-on activities (i.e. native plantings, flora and fauna surveys) will be organised to raise community awareness of the local riparian environment.

Tweed Shire Council

Bio-engineered river bank erosion stabilisation in the upper Tweed Estuary

River bank erosion is a serious issue affecting a large proportion of the middle and upper reaches of the Tweed Estuary. In many locations, erosion directly impacts main roads and the proximity between bank erosion and roads (often less than 4 m) necessitates the use of full bank height structural rock revetment in stabilisation projects. Bank protection structures are acknowledged to have serious ecological and amenity impacts. Where possible, Council is seeking to undertake erosion stabilisation projects that utilise a bio-engineered approach and maximise ecological outcomes. Designs are being developed to protect bank toes from scour while enhancing riparian vegetation. This project presents an opportunity for Council to stabilise a significant reach of eroding bank (400 m) without the need for full structural revetment. Works will include stock fencing, revegetation and if appropriate, the construction of wake wave energy dissipation structures (rock fillets) to create sheltered embayments where phragmities can regenerate.

Wollongong City Council

Lake Illawarra - protecting and improving estuarine habitats

The project aims to undertake weeding and revegetation at five sites (Tallawarra, Fred Finch Park, Windang Peninsula Heritage Park, Wollamai Point Reserve, and Brooks Creek Estuary) around the Lake Illawarra foreshore. This project will improve 5 km of lake foreshore over an area of 9.5 hectares. Weed control will improve the condition of the lakefront endangered ecological communities, including Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest and Saltmarsh, and revegetation will increase estuarine riparian habitat and improve bank stability to improve water quality draining into the lake.

Lake Illawarra Estuary health monitoring and reporting

The 2010 NSW State of the Catchments Report for Estuaries and Coastal Lakes indicates that Lake Illawarra is in very good condition, but subject to high pressure. The pressure on the lake is intensifying, as large greenfield areas in its catchment continue to be developed. How the estuary is responding to increasing catchment pressure and whether better control measures are necessary to protect its health requires a targeted monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework that can provide the information to address these issues. This project will review past monitoring activities to formulate and implement a monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework that will assist Wollongong and Shellharbour Councils to respond to the emerging challenges of protecting the health of Lake Illawarra, whilst delivering other community goals in this region.

Woollahra Municipal Council

Woollahra Coastal Zone Management Plan - Stage 2

In 2013, Woollahra Council completed the first stage of the Woollahra Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) which provides an understanding of coastal processes, estuary health, foreshore and seawall condition. Stage 1 summarises the existing and potential future issues, identifies data gaps, and provides a list of potential management options for Council consideration. The investigations carried out in Stage 1 provide Council with comprehensive and scientifically-based information to inform operational changes, monitoring programs, urban planning decisions, community consultation and education activities. The findings of the investigations and the list of potential management options identified in Stage 1 will be used as a starting point to develop a clear action plan for Council. Completion of the CZMP will involve addressing some of the data gaps identified in Stage 1, conducting consultation activities with key internal and external stakeholders, and developing a final CZMP for Woollahra.


Page last updated: 14 September 2015