Historically, tidal limits have been marked on parish maps or topographic maps. They were generally based on a surveyor visiting a site and estimating the limit of tidal influence on that particular day. However, there was no detail about how or when the limits were determined and the information was very sporadic. In some areas many creeks had a tidal limit marked but in other areas no information on the tidal limit was provided.
During the mid-1990s, there was a growth in community-based estuary management committees preparing and implementing sustainable management plans with the support of the NSW Estuary Management Program. The lack of reliable tidal limit information impacted the ability of these committees to make informed management decisions.
This important data set was developed to help agencies, institutions and local communities better manage the coastal zone of New South Wales as well as provide historic baseline information on the exact location of the tidal limit to enable future monitoring programs to assess the impacts of sea level rise.