NSW Marine Estate
The marine estate includes the
- coastal wetlands (saltmarsh, mangroves, seagrass)
- coastline including beaches, dunes and headlands
- coastal lakes and lagoons connected to the ocean
- islands including Lord Howe Island
It extends seaward out to three nautical miles and from the Queensland border to the Victorian border, as shown in the map.
The estate covers:
- around one million hectares of estuary and ocean, including 1500 km of ocean coastline
- 6,500 km of estuarine and coastal lakes foreshores
- 755 beaches and 184 estuaries and coastal lakes.
It has multiple uses and associated benefits that contribute to the communities' well-being. These uses, which involve various forms of access to the marine estate, generate significant economic, social and environmental benefits, including cultural and traditional use benefits.
Alternative uses can, however, compete with each other and come into direct conflict, such as commercial and recreational fishing, or boating and swimming. These can also present threats to the economic, social and environmental benefits of the estate with the potential to impose costs on the broader community.
A range of NSW Government bodies and agencies already play a role in managing our marine estate:
- NSW Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development, includes Resources and Energy and the NSW Department of Primary Industries which leads biosecurity, catchments, Crown lands, agriculture, fisheries, marine parks and related programs including research.
- The Office of Environment and Heritage manages the national park system, coastal and estuary management, marine fauna and maritime heritage programs and the Environmental Trust (an environmental funding program), and also contributes to marine estate research and education.
- The Department of Planning and Environment is responsible for the state's land use planning system and delivering critical infrastructure.
- Transport for NSW is responsible for ports, shipping, boating, access and safety.
- Local Government has a key role in planning, and delivering a range of services to coastal communities.
- The Environment Protection Authority is the state's independent environmental regulator, managing environmental issues such as air, water and noise pollution, water and resource recovery and pesticides.
The marine estate reforms will improve linkages between agencies to ensure better outcomes for the community, industry and the environment.
Page last updated/reviewed: 24 Nov 2015