Estuary Projects

The estuary is well recognised for its environmental, social, cultural, and economic benefits. However, the Hawkesbury faces many challenges that have the potential to affect how we enjoy living by the water. Sustainable management of the estuary and its catchment is a key priority for Council to ensure protection for future generations.

Council is involved in a number of estuarine projects that aim to protect and enhance the Lower Hawkesbury estuary.

These projects relate to:

  • Capital works where environmentally friendly seawalls and coastal walks are built
  • Educational projects that raise awareness of the need to protect and enhance aquatic ecosystems
  • On-ground works where we undertake water quality, litter and foreshore monitoring programs, estuary and riparian vegetation health assessments, protection and enhancement of aquatic ecosystems
  • Research projects where we collaborate with research institutions to help us understand estuarine processes and solve issues
  • Compliance: encouraging best practices to be implemented at riverside settlements
  • Planning projects with the aim of ensuring that planning instruments include best practices and provisions for sustainable development.
Estuarine projects
  1. Propagation of River and Grey Mangroves
    1. Watch ‘Mangroves – our smelly friends’
    2. Watch ‘A helping hand for mangroves'
    3. Sustainable Cities Awards 2021
  2. Protection and enhancement of seagrass meadows by deploying warning buoys and markers around the edges of the seagrass beds off Bradley’s Beach at Dangar Island, Kangaroo Point and Brooklyn harbour, alerting boat users of their presence
  3. Mangrove and saltmarsh health assessments
  4. Estuarine water quality monitoring and health assessments
  5. Wetland restoration to improve ecological health
  6. Estuarine health surveys:
    1. Biological Monitoring of Macrofauna in Artificail Units of Habitat (PDF 531kb)
    2. Estuarine habitat mapping and geomorphic characterisation of Lower Hawkesbury River and Pittwater estuaries (PDF 2MB)
  7. Riverbank erosion assessments
    1. 2014 Erosion Assessment of Shoreline between Wisemans Ferry and Spencer (PDF 8.4MB)
  8. Sediment monitoring:
    1. 2014 Sediment and Antifoul Study Final Report (PDF 13MB)
    2. 2007 Sediment and Antifoul Study Final Report R001 (PDF 172kb)
    3. 2007 Sediment and Antifoul Monitoring Report Appendix A (PDF 19.2MB)
    4. 2007 Sediment and Antifoul Monitoring Report Appendix B (PDF 5.2MB)
  9. Assessment of climate change on estuary habitats
    1. Hydrodynamic modelling of climate change scenarios for the lower Hawkesbury River (PDF 3.6MB)
    2. Resilience – Mangrove – Fig 6 11-34 (PDF 1.6MB)
    3. Resilience – Saltmarsh – Figs 6 35-58 Juncus (PDF 1.6MB)
    4. Resilience – Saltmarsh – Figs 6 59-82 Sporobolus (PDF 2.2MB)
    5. Resilience – Seagrass – Fig 6 1-10 (PDF 758kb)
    6. Risk – Mangrove – Fig 5 11-31 (PDF 1.7MB)
    7. Risk – Saltmarsh – Fig 5 32-50 Juncus (PDF 1.7MB)
    8. Risk – Saltmarsh – Fig 5 51-70 Sporobolus (PDF 2.8MB)
    9. Risk – Seagrass – Fig 5 1-10 (PDF 860kb)
    10. Vulnerability – Mangrove – Fig 7 5-12 (PDF 845kb)
    11. Vulnerability – Saltmarsh – Fig 7 13-30 Juncus (PDF 1.1MB)
    12. Vulnerability – Saltmarsh – Fig 7 31-54 Sporobolus (PDF 1.7MB)
    13. Vulnerability – Seagrass – Fig 7 1-4 Seagrass (PDF 483kb)
    14. Vulnerability assessment of the effects of climate change on estuarine habitats (PDF 2.7MB)
  10. Economic benefit evaluation of recreational activities and assets
  11. Research on environmental drivers of algae blooms in partnership with UTS Climate Change Cluster:
    1. Long-term perspective on the relationship between phytoplankton and nutrient concentrations in a southeastern Australian estuary (2017)
    2. Modelling bloom formation of the toxic dinoflagellates Dinophysis acuminata and Dinophysis caudata in a highly modified estuary, south eastern Australia (2016)
    3. Bloom drivers of the potentially harmful dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum (Pavillard) Schiller in a south eastern temperate Australian estuary (2018)
    4. Fifteen years of Pseudo-nitzschia in an Australian estuary, including the first potentially toxic P. delicatissima bloom in the southern hemisphere (2020)
  12. Socio-economic evaluation of NSW Aquaculture and NSW Commercial wild catch fisheries in partnership with UTS researchers
  13. Monitoring of estuarine waters towards the management of oyster harvest areas
  14. Riparian vegetation restoration works
  15. Protection of habitat utilised by migratory birds

Useful links