Marine estate strategy implementation

Key actions the Strategy will deliver in Stage 1

Stage 1 (2018-2020) will primarily focus on implementing actions related to improving water quality, sustainable coastal land-use management and healthy coastal habitats. An infographic (PDF, 3113.58 KB) depicts the regional benefits and key actions the Strategy will deliver in Stage 1. More specifically, Stage 1 will:

Improve water quality, reduce litter and deliver healthy habitats

The water quality actions in the Strategy will complement and build on the support being provided to councils to deliver the coastal reforms. We will:

  • provide local councils with additional training, tools and support to identify the water quality problems in their area and the most effective actions to address them
  • align and expand existing monitoring to deliver a statewide water quality monitoring program and a regular statewide report card on catchment health.

We will expand the Environmental Protection Authority’s ‘Hey Tosser!’ program to include a targeted campaign for marine litter hotspots.

We will deliver on-ground activities to reduce diffuse source pollution including:

  • coastal floodplain management and habitat restoration to improve floodplain infrastructure and drainage management. This will enhance natural water flows and address poor water quality from acid sulfate soils and low dissolved oxygen conditions
  • rehabilitate wetlands, reduce erosion from roads and improve stormwater infrastructure
  • oyster reef restoration to stabilise estuary foreshores and help filter water to improve water quality, focusing on a pilot program in Port Stephens
  • restore fish passage at two priority coastal barrier sites
  • undertake an agricultural nutrient reduction trial on the north coast, which includes research on industry behaviour and how to best influence agricultural practices.

Increase Aboriginal participation in management

We will ensure Aboriginal people’s participation in Sea Country management, planning and monitoring is significantly enhanced through employment and training.  We will also assist Aboriginal people to explore opportunities for cultural tourism development in marine parks.

Fishing, aquaculture, boating and marine wildlife management

We will take action to address threats associated with fishing (harvest and bycatch) and illegal sale of fish. These include developing harvest strategies, undertaking an environmental assessment of recreational fishing and expanding the commercial fishing observer program to better understand threats associated with bycatch and interactions with threatened and protected species.

We will undertake fisheries enhancement projects such as fish stocking in estuaries and provision of infrastructure (e.g. jetties), to enhance fishing experiences.

We will introduce a targeted education and compliance campaign to minimise harm to marine wildlife, including a more strategic approach to the management of whale beachings.

We will also reduce threats to sensitive seagrass by introducing new mooring technologies and delivery mechanisms.

Enhance social, cultural and economic benefits and ensure effective governance

We will undertake a range of projects including enhancing school and community education programs, mapping the range of uses in the marine estate, exploring opportunities for economic growth of marine related industries, developing a Marine Integrated Monitoring Program and establishing an integrated governance framework.


Have your say on the oyster reef restoration oyster industry survey

The new NSW DPI Oyster Reef Restoration project which is a key management action under the Marine Estate Management Strategy is now underway. Oyster reefs (or beds) are complex, intertidal or subtidal three-dimensional structures which are formed largely from aggregations of living oysters and old shell.

Oyster reefs are a distinct ecological community which provides a wide range of free benefits to coastal communities including the provision of habitat for many other marine creatures such as recreational and commercial fish species, shoreline protection and water filtration services.

Oyster reefs previously covered vast areas of many estuaries in NSW. It is estimated that 99 % of oyster reefs in Australia are functionally extinct - no longer helping to maintain the ecological health of the estuary.

The project team are keen to work closely with the NSW oyster industry to document observations of remnant reefs, to identify any knowledge gaps in relation to oyster reefs and oyster reef restoration and address any industry-specific concerns in relation to oyster reef restoration.

The oyster reef survey is the first stage of consultation with the oyster industry who are invited to have their say.

Page last updated/reviewed: 30 May 2019