Estuary management plan

Estuaries come in many different forms but can be generally defined as partly enclosed and protected water bodies, into which flow rivers or creeks and which are directly connected to the sea. The tidal mouths of rivers can usually be classified as an estuary.

Because of their locations and the mixing of different waters estuaries often support a relatively high level of biodiversity and it's for this reason that they are of significant environmental value. Ecologically, estuaries are complex systems of biological, chemical and physical interactions providing a unique habitat for estuarine flora and fauna. These sensitive environments are impacted upon by the surrounding environment and community activities including local industries, recreational activities, and shoreline development. 

To protect the many key values of Kogarah's estuaries, council instigated the creation of Estuary Management Plans (EMPs) for the major estuaries of the Kogarah area. The preparation of an EMP is a multi-stage process, involving a data collection stage - called an Estuary Process Study (EPS), so that the ecological and environmental processes of the estuary can be understood, an Estuary Management Study to generate possible management options and finally, the Estuary Management Plan, which sets out those options which are most appropriate.

The estuary management plans in the Kogarah area will focus upon specific areas of concern such as:

  • sedimentation
  • water quality
  • ecological decline and fragmentation
  • foreshore modification
  • catchment usage

As of mid-2010 estuary management plans have been completed for Kogarah Bay and Oatley Bay. An Estuary Process Study has been completed for Middle Bays (Connells, Kyle and Shipwrights Bays). An EPS is the step taken before an estuary management plan is completed.  

Please visit the Management Plans page on this website page to download versions of the Estuary Management Plans.


Oatley Bay bank stabilisation

Sections of the Oatley Bay foreshore suffer from severe erosion. The steep edge of Moore Reserve in particular is vulnerable to soil loss from wind and rain. In addition, a ephemeral stream line (one that only runs as a result of rain) in the south-west corner of Moore Reserve was subject to major erosion during storms.

To prevent erosion and reduce the amount of sediment making its way into Oatley Bay, council designed the Oatley Bay bank stabilisation. Council employed external contractors for the construction phase, which was completed in August 2010.

Oatley Bay Memorial Boardwalk

The Great Kai'Mia Way is more than 200km of walking trails linking Botany Bay, the Woronora Valley and large parts of southern and western Sydney. The Oatley Memorial Boardwalk was identified as a way to enhance the section of the Great Kai'Mia Way that runs through the Kogarah City Council Area.

The boardwalk connects two separate sections of Morshead Drive and the foreshore between these two points is lined with a mature stand of mangroves. The aim of the boardwalk was to connect these two areas for the enjoyment of the community. During planning it was decided the boardwalk could also serve as a memorial for military deaths in peacetime. Signs were created which detailed Australian peacetime military tragedies and these now line the boardwalk.

Construction was competed in October 2008 and boardwalk was officially launched by the mayor and representatives from the St George RSL.

Claydon Reserve Environmentally Friendly Seawall

A successful collaborative project undertaken by Kogarah City Council, in partnership with the community, public and private sector stakeholders, delivered a foreshore restoration project that steers away from traditional vertical seawalls that impinge on natural habitat.

The environmentally friendly seawall at Claydon Reserve provides new intertidal and littoral species habitat reduced by previous seawall structures. This new seawall also promotes the re-establishment of salt marsh along the foreshore. The Claydon Reserve foreshore restoration project demonstrates that a collaborative approach in coastal management can lead to a sustainable management of urbanised coastlines.

Neverfail Bay Foreshore Stabilisation

Areas of the Neverfail Bay foreshore were degraded due to foreshore erosion, stormwater discharge and damaged infrastructure. The aim of the restoration was to work with the community to provide foreshore stability and protect the area's environmental values.

The works carried out involved stabilising the site's foreshore with a rock revetment to prevent erosion and maintain local heritage such as the crushed oyster shell pavement. Native trees, grasses and saltmarsh species were planted throughout the area to further stabilise and promote the development of a native estuarine bushland environment.

Features of historical significance related to the site's previous oyster farming industry (such as original oyster barges) have been preserved for the purpose of historical interest. Also included in the construction was a seawall along a length of foreshore in addition to an upgrade to the stormwater systems in order to protect the area from future damage.

Kyle Bay Foreshore Stabilisation

This project involved the restoration of the foreshore environment at Merriman Reserve located at the northern edge of Kyle Bay. The design aimed to satisfy the needs of the environment and the community in order to enhance the foreshore environment.

Through this process, an aesthetically pleasing and interesting foreshore environment was developed to encourage the use of the Reserve by the community. At the same time, the available habitat for aquatic, intertidal, salt marsh and coastal dune flora and fauna was improved.

Jetties, Seawall and Boat Ramps

Kogarah City Council is responsible for foreshore infrastructure along the Georges River and its bays including seawalls, jetties and boat ramps. Council has an ongoing repair and improvement program which increases the amenity of the foreshore and allows for greater access.