Coastal floodplain study

A workman inspects a floodgate with cars parked in the background


A coastal floodplain is the low-lying, generally flat, land of an estuary. In a natural state, coastal floodplains are often swampy. They may flood during high tides or after heavy rainfall.

The water drained artificially from coastal floodplains can cause water pollution under certain conditions. This can have a negative impact on the health of the estuary.

This action will help find ways to reduce water pollution from coastal floodplains.

The study will gather information about NSW coastal floodplains. It will help land owners, Councils and the Government make decisions about:

  • the use of floodplain land
  • ways to manage floodplain drainage
  • how to reduce water pollution and adapt for climate change.

Information will come from existing research and an extensive field study. The study is being done by researchers from the University of NSW. Findings from the study will be released in 2020.

Latest news

Coastal floodplain study fieldwork completed

The University of NSW’s Water Research Laboratory (WRL) has now completed the fieldwork research of the coastal floodplain study. WRL is now processing the data and will conduct analysis before submitting a report.


The study is being undertaken in the floodplain areas of the Tweed, Richmond, Clarence, Macleay, Hastings, Manning and Shoalhaven river estuaries.

Lead agency

Department of Primary Industries - Fisheries (DPI-F)


The study is being done by DPI Fisheries and WRL in collaboration with:

  • local government
  • state agencies
  • local landholders and industries who live on, or earn income from, these floodplain areas.


General information

To find out more information about the study in general, please contact:

Dale Gollan - DPI Fisheries, Manager

P: 02 4916 3920


Fieldwork information

To find out more information about the fieldwork component of the study, please contact:

Tony Broderick - WRL Community Liaison Officer

P: 0409 225 798


Page last updated/reviewed: 05 May 2020