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Coastal Management Program:

Nambucca Coastline and Estuaries


The community survey is now closed. If you wish to get in touch with the project team, please use the web form at the bottom of this page.

Project Background:


Hydrosphere Consulting has been engaged by Nambucca Valley Council (NVC) to prepare a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for the Nambucca coastline and estuaries. The study area for the CMP includes approximately 25km of coastline from Oyster Creek to Scotts Head (including Little Beach) and the tidal sections of Deep Creek, Swimming Creek, Nambucca River and Warrell Creek. The goal of the CMP is to provide the long-term strategy and management actions for these areas, balancing priorities for environmental, cultural, recreational and commercial values, along with adaptation to emerging issues such as sea level rise and a changing population.


The project is equally funded by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) and NVC. The preparation of the CMP will be in accordance with the NSW Coastal Management Act 2016 and the five stages of NSW guidelines for coastal management, the Coastal Management Manual. The manual outlines the mandatory requirements and provides guidance on the preparation, development, adoption and content of the CMP.​ The development of the CMP is a comprehensive process requiring detailed review and analysis as well as an extensive community consultation process.

The coastline and estuaries are many things to many people. The beaches and estuaries are of significant cultural value for Aboriginal people and provide a place to continue traditional cultural practices. The scenic waterways and picturesque surrounds are used extensively for recreational activities and are of great importance to the local community and visitors alike, contributing to tourism and the local economy. The working waterway of the Nambucca River supports oyster aquaculture and commercial fishing industries. The study area obtains its identity from these industries and from agricultural and forestry practices in the catchments as well as significant areas of national parks and reserves in the upper catchments and on the coastal foreshores. A diversity of habitats have evolved for a wide variety of plants and animals including a number of protected flora and fauna species such as estuarine vegetation (mangrove, saltmarsh and seagrass), shorebirds, raptors and fish species.


Project Stages:


Stage 1 - Scoping study – involves collation of existing information, community and stakeholder engagement, and scoping of technical studies to fill key information gaps. Indicative timeline: Complete, report available for download below.


Stage 2 - Detailed studies of vulnerabilities and opportunities – involves confirmation of key issues and concerns, field work to confirm current knowledge and completion of identified technical studies to fill key information gaps. Indicative timeline: September - October 2020 .


Stage 3 - Response indication and evaluation – involves threat consequence and risk assessment, the evaluation and identification of management options and the development of management actions. Indicative timeline: October - November 2020.


Stage 4 - Finalise, exhibit, certify and adopt the CMP – involves the preparation of a Draft CMP for agency review and public exhibition, the identification of funding and final mechanisms to implement the CMP, compiling and addressing submissions from agencies and the community and finalisation of the CMP document for certification. Indicative timeline: November 2020 - March 2021.


Stage 5 - Implementation, monitoring and reporting – involves the implementation of management actions from the certified CMP by NVC and involved agencies as well as the monitoring and reporting of CMP progress. Indicative timeline: Ongoing from mid 2021.


Further information on the process, including technical resources related to the implementation of these stages can be found on the DPIE website here: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/water/coasts/coastal-management/manual


   Current Progress:

  • The Stage 1 Scoping Study is complete. It identifies issues and knowledge gaps, and documents community and stakeholder engagement activities. The Scoping Study report is available to download below.

Related Information and Documentation:

A suite of  information is available relating to the existing management and health of the study area as listed below. The CMP will supersede the existing Nambucca River Estuary Management Plan and the Coastal Zone Management Plan for the Nambucca Shire Council.

Community Engagement:


There is a lot of public interest in these beaches and waterways and community input to this plan is critical in getting the right balance in management priorities. A community survey and drop-in session were held during the preparation of the Scoping Study. Community members can still have their say via:

  • The communication portal provided below.

  • Providing written submissions in response to the draft plan when it becomes available.

  • Participating in community drop-in session no.2 which will be held during public display of the Draft CMP (location and dates to be confirmed closer to the event).

Communication Portal


Contact the project team directly by filling out the contact form.

You may like to include:

  • Local knowledge.

  • Historical information.

  • Details of issues you are concerned about.

  • Ideas for management.

  • Things you value about the coastline and estuaries and would like to see protected or enhanced.


Information provided will be used by the project team to help develop the Coastal Management Program for Nambucca coastline and estuaries.

If you choose to provide contact details they will only be used by the project team to contact you about your comments if necessary. Personal details will not be published.

If you wish to provide photos or documents, please note this in your message and the project team will contact you to arrange this.