Estuaries research

Our scientists collaborate with many partners on projects that help us better understand and manage our estuaries.

Through our collaborative projects on estuaries we:

  • measure water quality and ecosystem health, for example we conduct assessments to look at biodiversity, nutrient levels, algae and water clarity
  • collect and analyse data to monitor the health of NSW estuaries and the effectiveness of management programs
  • monitor the impact and the recovery of estuarine ecosystems following unexpected events, such as flooding, blackwater events and bushfire
  • work closely with local councils to advise them how to measure ongoing impacts to estuarine ecosystems and minimise future impacts.

Current research projects

These are some examples of our research projects on estuaries.

Avoca Lake study

We are undertaking the Avoca Lake Process Study for Central Coast Council to better understand what is driving poor water quality conditions in Avoca Lake. This detailed study will look at the dynamics and drivers of water quality in the estuary using a water quality monitoring device or buoy.

The ultimate aim of this research is to help Central Coast Council better manage the ecological health of the system.

Bushfire-affected waterways

In our Bushfire-affected Waterways Study we’re assessing the long-term impacts of bushfires on water quality, aquatic ecosystem health, and estuarine processes such as changes to water flow.

This project forms part of the NSW bushfire inquiry, the NSW Government’s response to the 2019–20 bushfire recovery.

Rose Bay and Terrigal water quality audits

We worked with Woollahra Council, Sydney Water, Central Coast Council and other collaborators to investigate the extent and source of poor water quality at Rose Bay Beach and Terrigal Beach. We’ve conducted water quality audits and work continues to improve recreational water quality issues in both areas.

Tilba Tilba project

We have developed a monitoring program to better understand the ecosystem health and determine baseline conditions for Victoria Creek and Tilba Tilba Lake. The Water quality at Tilba Tilba Lake project, coordinated by South East Local Land Services with landowners and local Wagonga Aboriginal rangers, includes rehabilitation activities funded by the Marine Estate Management Strategy since 2019 with the goal of improving the health of the system.