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Clean coastal catchments research

Published 24 June 2024 Working with farmers to keep sediment and nutrients on farms and out of coastal waterways. This is better for the environment and can support profitable and sustainable agriculture.
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Why is this project important?

The Clean Coastal Catchments (CCC) project works with farmers across coastal NSW to keep sediment and nutrients on farms and out of coastal waterways.

Diffuse source pollution (including nutrients and sediment) from agriculture has been identified as a priority threat to waterways across coastal NSW.

Increased nutrients and sediment from agriculture affect water quality. They can also lead to toxic algal blooms, fish deaths and a loss of biodiversity.

Better management of fertiliser, effluent, and water on farms will help the industry be more productive, profitable and environmentally sustainable. Reducing losses from farm will help to improve water quality in coastal creeks and rivers, and sensitive marine areas.

What are we doing?

The Clean Coastal Catchments research project is helping farmers across coastal NSW to improve management practices so they can:

  • improve their management of nutrients (fertiliser) and soil (erosion) to reduce runoff from farms into waterways
  • improve the economic and environmental sustainability of their farms.

We are helping farmers improve management practices by:

  • conducting research trials to develop locally relevant farm best management practices for water, nutrients (fertiliser) and soils(erosion).
  • using demonstration sites to showcase these best management practices
  • working with peak industry bodies to educate and empower growers to more effectively manage water, nutrients and reduce erosion and runoff
  • working with farmers and their advisors to encourage further adoption of industry best management practices.

You can learn more about best practice fertiliser management at our webinar series here.

Take a look at our Updates, Newsletters & Media page to find out more about CCC events and activities.

View CCC expert insights and articles on best practice erosion management, fertiliser stewardship, and the science of crop nutrition.

Subscribe to receive newsletters and updates via email.

Our projects

DPI Wollongbar Primary Industries Institute

  • Blueberry nutrition research to develop locally specific plant nutrient requirements
  • Demonstration and assessment of woodchip bioreactors and artificial wetlands to manage nutrient runoff from intensive horticulture
  • You can take a virtual tour of the blueberry research facility at Wollongbar here

Richmond River region

  • Working with macadamia farmers to assess the optimal nutrient composition of compost and mulches, erosion mitigation research, and water quality and nutrient monitoring
  • Measuring the benefits of integrated orchard management on macadamia farms

Coffs Harbour region

  • Working with berry (blueberry and rubus) and vegetable farmers to measure water and nutrients on farms and in greenhouses
  • Hosting demonstration events of fertigation and water recycling in berry orchards, and other fertigation technologies

Far South Coast region

  • Working with dairy and cattle farmers to conduct incremental soil testing and nutrient response trials for typical pasture types
  • Demonstration farms to monitor nutrient loss pathways from grazing systems and assess the usefulness of interventions on farms
  • Facilitating industry adoption of improved whole farm nutrient planning and irrigation practices

Lead agency

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Agriculture


Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Fisheries

Local Land Services

NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (NSW DCCEEW)

Australian Macadamia Society

Australian Blueberry Growers Association

Berries Australia

Fertiliser Australia

Oz Group Cooperative

Dairy NSW

Bega Cheese

Southern Cross University National Marine Science Centre

More information

Information and updates about the CCC project are available on the CCC webpages on the NSW DPI Agriculture website.

Research information is available on our CCC Insights page.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has released new interim guidelines for fertiliser use in the blueberry industry to address the current lack of appropriate information for Australian growers.

Macadamia integrated orchard management

The Macadamia integrated orchard management practice guide 2016 provides advice on best practice management of macadamia orchards. And the Macadamia integrated orchard management drainage 2022 provides advice on best practice management to implement drainage throughout the orchard. It explains how to protect orchards from excessive run-on, stabilise watercourses and have slope-specific groundcovers in place.

NSW Macadamia plant protection guide

This NSW Macadamia plant protection guide aims to provide commercial macadamia growers with up-to-date information on all aspects of protecting orchards from pests and diseases.

Macadamia grower's guide: nutrition and soil health (in progress)

This NSW Macadamia grower’s guide 2022-24 provides up-to-date resources that describe best management practices for macadamia growers.

Berry plant protection guide

The Berry plant protection guide provides up-to-date information on managing pests and diseases. The 2019 edition focuses on integrated pest management (IPM) in berry crops.

Fertcare® technical standards for nutrient management planning on Australian dairy farms

The Fertcare® technical standards for nutrient management planning on Australian dairy farms outlines the performance standards expected of Fertcare® Accredited Advisors (FAA) offering dairy-specific nutrient management advice.

Dairy Soils and Fertiliser Manual

The Dairy Soils and Fertiliser Manual ­ provides farmers and advisors with a logical planning approach and the technical know-how to make profitable and environmentally responsible fertiliser management decisions.

Virtual Tour Blueberry Research

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