Estuary management

The Hunter River Estuary is a valuable resource for the environment, community and economy. Its protection and management is undertaken by a joint organisational plan.

The Hunter Estuary extends for 75 kilometres from the Port at Newcastle to the tidal limit at Oakhampton in Maitland. It is a functioning ecosystem that is widely valued. The estuary is an important habitat to a selection of internationally significant resident and migratory animals, as well as being used as a water source for agriculture, recreational waterway, and a commercial resource for a number of industries.

What is Council doing to protect the Estuary?

To protect and maintain the social, economic and environmental values of the Hunter Estuary, a Management Study and Plan was adopted in 2009 in association with Newcastle City Council, Port Stephens Council and the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW).

A review of the plan was undertaken in 2016 which ensured the plan met the requirement of the Coastal Protection Act 1979 and the Guidelines for Preparing Coastal Zone Management Plans (2013).

Estuary Management Plan and study

The Estuary Management Plan aims to guide future decision making regarding short and long term management of the Hunter Estuary, its foreshores and its broader catchment area.

The Estuary Management Study offers up potential management actions addressing the key issues impacting on the Estuary and the Hunter Estuary Processes Study provides more scientific analysis and research information on the estuary environment.