Oyster reef restoration


Natural oyster reefs are good for our waterways. They:

  • provide food and shelter for fish and other animals
  • improve water quality by filtering and cleaning water
  • protect shorelines from wave erosion.

But oyster reefs don’t provide these benefits like they once did because they have almost completely disappeared in NSW.  In the past, oyster reefs were lost due to over-harvesting, disease, land reclamation and sediments from run-off.

The aim of this action is to bring back oyster reefs in NSW so they can do their job again – naturally.

The action will:

  • deliver the first large-scale trial of oyster reef restoration in NSW
  • study the best ways to restore natural oyster reefs
  • identify the most suitable places in NSW for reef restoration projects
  • explain why oyster reefs are important and how to restore them.

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  • Identify suitable reef restoration sites
  • Work with oyster farmers
  • Educate and inform coastal communities and key stakeholders
  • Research restoration methods

Port Stephens

  • Reef restoration pilot project site

Lead agency

  • Department of Primary Industries


  • OceanWatch Australia
  • Macquarie University
  • University of NSW
  • Sydney University
  • Southern Cross University
  • Sydney Institute of Marine Science


Ask a question or send a comment about this action to:

North coast (Qld border to Newcastle)

Charlotte Jenkins - charlotte.jenkins@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Central coast (Newcastle to Wollongong)

Kirk Dahle - kirk.dahle@dpi.nsw.gov.au

South coast (Wollongong to Vic border)

Jillian Keating - jillian.keating@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Page last updated/reviewed: 28 Oct 2020