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Investigating a blue carbon demonstration site on primary production land

Published 19 September 2023 This project aims to transform a 13-hectare peninsular adjacent to the Richmond River near Ballina, currently used for cattle grazing, into a blue carbon demonstration site. A boardwalk is planned to go through part of the site allowing members of the community to witness the progress of blue carbon ecosystem recovery at the site.
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The project site will be registered and, if approved, administered under the Emissions Reduction Fund as a ‘tidal restoration of blue carbon ecosystems method (coastal wetlands)’ project.

On ground works will involve removing a perimeter levee to restore tidal flows and ecological processes. The recovery of expected co-benefits such as fisheries production, foreshore protection, water quality and biodiversity improvements will be monitored by researchers and values compared to alternate land uses. Cultural values of the site will also be assessed and recognised as part of the project.

The demonstration site will show how blue carbon can become part of a coastal farm business enterprise. One that is resilient to flood, adaptable to sea level rise and grows financially valuable co-benefits. This alternative land use is especially important for owners and managers to consider, as over 640 km2 of NSW coastal floodplains exist with ground surface below 1m AHD—land already below the height of the highest tides.

The project will facilitate the development of guidance materials to support primary producers and landholders. It will also help in the development of blue carbon policy that facilitates the transition of land uses on low lying floodplains vulnerable to extreme events and climate change.

Delivery of this project is dependent on registration with the Clean Energy Regulator.

Project update:

  • Site history assessment Underway
  • Hydrologic assessment and project extent mapping Underway
  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Complete
  • Mosquito Management Plan
  • Project operation and maintenance plan

Lead agency

Department of Primary Industries - Fisheries


Department of Primary Industries - Fisheries, Department of Planning and Environment - Environment and Heritage Group, Local Government, Local Aboriginal Land Councils, Universities

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