State of the Catchments 2010: Southern Rivers Region - Estuaries and Coastal Lakes

The Southern Rivers region has 102 estuaries, or 55 per cent of the total number in New South Wales; 450 km2 or 25 per cent of the total estuarine area in New South Wales; and 19,000 km2 or 15 per cent of the total estuary catchment area.

Date
1 November 2010
Publisher
Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water
Type
Publication
Status
Final
Cost
Free
Language
English
Tags
  • ISBN 978-1-74232-865-2
  • ID DECCW20100603
  • File PDF 4.7MB
  • Pages 18
  • Name state-of-the-catchments-2010-southern-rivers-region-estuaries-coastal-lakes-100603.pdf

Variation in estuary type, entrance condition, catchment characteristics and climate along the NSW coast produces estuarine ecosystems that are complex, dynamic and variable. As estuaries slowly infill, and as development further increases sediment and nutrient inputs, excessive levels of nitrogen or phosphorus in the estuary can cause algal blooms ('eutrophic' conditions) and other harmful effects that adversely impact ecosystems as well as human usage.

To adequately capture ecosystem complexity, a number of ecological indicators are being used to report estuary health covering eutrophication, habitat and fish.