The health and integrity of estuaries is vital in maintaining environmental, social and cultural values and ecosystem services. This strongly benefits the communities that interact and depend on them.
Why we protect estuaries
Estuaries are valuable environmental assets that are under increasing pressure. With more than 80% of New South Wales’s population living on or near the coast, coastal local government areas are rapidly developing and growing faster than those 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. 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 we:
- collect scientific data monitor condition and the physical properties of estuaries, to help in the application of the risk-based framework for achieving waterway health outcomes and the development of water quality and river flow objectives
- provide support and guidance to council’s developing their coastal management programs for estuaries and open coast areas
- provide technical support and funding to help local councils plan and implement estuary management projects, manage risks from coastal hazards, restore coastal habitats and improve estuary health.