Why we protect estuaries
The health and integrity of estuaries is vital to the proper functioning of the entire catchment ecosystem as well as to the communities that depend on them.
- Estuaries are valuable environmental assets that are under increasing pressure from development. With more than 80% of New South Wales's population living on or near the coast, coastal council areas are rapidly developing and growing faster than councils elsewhere in the State.
- Estuaries are at risk from extreme weather events. Climate change projections suggest that extreme rainfall events will increase in frequency and intensity in New South Wales. Extreme rainfall events and large damaging storms can cause flooding in rivers and estuaries as well as flash flooding. They can also cause soil erosion and water pollution, threatening natural estuarine ecosystems, commercial enterprises and public amenity.
How we protect and manage estuaries
To help protect and improve the health of estuaries, the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH)
- collects scientific data and monitors the physical properties of estuaries
- provides technical assistance and funding to help local councils plan and implement estuary management projects.