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Living shoreline project kicks off in Narooma


Five people hold up plans for living shorelines in front on waterway


Works on a new project to protect the shoreline of Wagonga Inlet in Narooma from erosion has just kicked off as part of the Wagonga Inlet Living Shoreline project.

With additional pressure on our shorelines due to sea level rise expected in coming years, developing a “living shoreline” is one solution to prevent erosion over time.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Senior Fisheries Manager, Marine Estate, Kylie Russell, said the project will showcase how nature-based solutions can be used in coastal management.

“'Living shorelines’ protect our coastline by using natural elements such as plants and oyster reefs to prevent erosion, instead of traditional methods such as rock walls,” Ms Russell said.

Stage one of the project will restore the first native flat oyster reef in NSW waters on the seafloor of the “Deep Hole” and the first intertidal Sydney Rock Oyster reef on the NSW South Coast, with the ‘living shoreline’ foreshore improvement works to follow.

The reefs will be restored, using locally quarried rock and local sterile oyster shells, with oyster spat settling over time and forming a natural living and growing reef.

Heidi Thomson, Natural Resource and Sustainability Coordinator for Eurobodalla Shire Council, said the Living Shoreline Project has been developed in close consultation with the Narooma community.

“Community and stakeholder groups were invited to contribute their ideas and comments about the project and the feedback received has been incorporated into the final project design,” she said.

Simon Branigan, Operations Manager Oceans from The Nature Conservancy said restoring the oyster reef at Wagonga Inlet will benefit both the community and the environment.

“By improving the water quality, providing estuarine habitat, as well as providing an important natural defence for our coastline will help to reduce coastal erosion and damage from storms,” Mr Branigan said.

The Wagonga Inlet Living Shoreline project is an exciting new collaboration between DPI Fisheries, the Eurobodalla Shire Council, and The Nature Conservancy Australia, with funding support from the Australian Government’s Reef Builder initiative and the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy.

The Marine Estate Management Strategy is a 10-year strategy to improve the health of the NSW marine estate. For more information about shellfish reef restoration in NSW visit the Oyster Reef Restoration project page.


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