Coastal & estuary management


Crooked River estuary

Council coordinates management committees for the Minnamurra River and Crooked River estuaries.

The committee's purpose is to ensure the current and future health of the rivers and estuaries.

Committee members include representatives from:

  • Council
  • government departments
  • our community.

The committees provide important input into our Estuary Management Plans that must meet NSW Coastal Zone Management Program requirements.

Visit the Department of Primary Industries' website for information on what you can do to help keep our rivers and estuaries healthy:

  Living and working on a riverbank

Minnamurra River Coastal Zone Management Plan

Key points on the Coastal Zone Management Plan:

  • Community consultation identified a desire to protect the existing natural character and beauty of the Minnamurra River area while maintaining the highly valued recreational opportunities.
  • The plan is the result of extensive study of existing and historical information that gives an overall picture of the estuary's current health.
  • It considers ways to maintain and improve the estuary's health for future generations, and identifies potential risks associated with future sea level rises.
  • Community consultation identified issues as being urban development, agriculture, extractive industries, solid waste management facilities, boating speed and waterway safety.
  • Ecosystem health issues in the lower estuary include the impact of terrestrial weeds on sensitive wetland and riparian environments, and the impact of water quality degradation and recreational activities on estuarine habitats.

Crooked River Coastal Zone Management Plan

Community consultation identified the main values and issues relate to the natural beauty, safety and cleanliness of the Crooked River estuary, and how these contribute to the community's use of it for passive and active recreation.

The plan contains actions to address key goals of:

  • managing faecal and nutrient inputs into the Crooked River and its tributaries
  • managing acid sulfate soils and mitigation of runoff events that occur periodically
  • managing identified bank erosion and sources of sediment
  • managing riparian areas in the estuary and its tributaries
  • managing terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity
  • researching potential climate change impacts on estuary health and agricultural productivity
  • ensuring strategic implementation of on ground works throughout the catchment
  • ensuring the community can access information relating to the Crooked River estuary.

Achieving these goals involve the cooperation and coordination of:

  • multiple local and state government agencies
  • the local community
  • our local landholders.

Werri Lagoon

Werri Lagoon is a shallow, coastal lagoon often closed to the sea.  

Attempting to keep the entrance open permanently is not technically feasible or desirable.

The lagoon entrance is opened by our outdoor staff when it reaches certain conditions, to prevent the threat of flooding of roads and urban areas.

These conditions are set in:

Hard copies

Hard copies of all plans are available at:

  • Administration Centre, 11 Manning Street, Kiama
  • Kiama Library, Railway Parade, Kiama.

Coastal Management Program

Council is developing a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for the municipality from Minnamurra in the north to Seven Mile Beach at Gerroa in the south.

The CMP will be a long term strategy for managing our open coastal areas from Minnamurra in the north to Seven Mile Beach at Gerroa in the south.

The CMP will provide a plan of action for council, other agencies and the community to address coastal hazards and manage coastal environments, while supporting the recreational, social and cultural importance of our coastline.

The aim of the CMP is to ensure our coast continues as an important part of our community, by being able to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The development of the program is following the NSW Government’s coastal management process, including the Coastal Management Act (2016) and the NSW Coastal Management Manual.

Developing the CMP is a five-stage process:

Stage 1 – Scoping study to determine the context, purpose and scope of the CMP using community consultation

Stage 2 – Conduct technical studies to provide the information needed to develop the CMP, its strategies and actions

Stage 3 – Identify and evaluate potential actions with the selection of actions that are practical, realistic and affordable for council and the community.

Stage 4 – Exhibit the draft CMP for the community to provide submissions before being endorsed by council then certified by the NSW Government.

Stage 5 – Implement actions within the CMP in partnership with the community and other stakeholders, also monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of the CMP.

The Coastal Management Program is developed with funding and technical support from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

The CMP will be developed over two years, with the CMP expected to be ready by December 2021.

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