Science and data

What influences how we manage the estuary?

Development pressure in the Tuggerah Lakes catchment grew rapidly from the 1960’s onward as the area shifted from a holiday destination to a place of permanent residency supporting ever expanding residential, commercial and industrial centres.

Management of the wider catchment has improved with greater controls on farming, sewerage management and development and the estuary is considered to be “healthier” than it was during the 1980s and ‘90s. However it is not clear how much additional catchment development can be sustained before the estuary is pushed across some threshold to return to the eutrophic (excess nutrient) status of recent history.

Since 1997 Central Coast Council has been working with State Government agencies, aquatic ecologists and local community and interest groups on a 3-stage process to ensure a sustainable future for Tuggerah Lakes. This includes the Tuggerah Lakes Process Study (2001), The Tuggerah Lakes Estuary Management Study (2005) and the Tuggerah Lakes Estuary Management Plan (2006).

Tuggerah Lakes Estuary Management Plan

The Tuggerah Lakes Estuary Management Plan (EMP) was adopted by in 2006. The EMP provides strategic direction for the management of the Tuggerah Lakes estuary and its catchment with the aim to rehabilitate it to a point where it can effectively maintain itself.

The EMP is considered the platform by which Council will manage the estuary into the future. Its primary objective is to provide direction for the management of Tuggerah Lakes and its catchment in order to ensure the sustainability of its ecological systems.

The Estuary Management Plan was developed to identify priorities, costs and likely timeframes for taking further action. It incorporates the social, economic and environmental values of Tuggerah Lakes and recommends the order of works and the costs involved. The EMP was subject to community consultation before it was finalised and acted upon.

After the plan comes the implementation

Council has been working to implement the Tuggerah Lakes Estuary Management Plan since it was adopted. Some of the actions are completed by Council doing its day-to-day work and other actions require specific funding in order to be achieved.

Over the past years the implementation of the EMP has been supported by funding from the Australian Government under a number of grants.

Find out who lives here and who is eating who?

Image of Tuggerah Lakes Estuary Management Study front cover

Tuggerah Lakes Estuary Management Study 2001-2004

Find out what the scientists are doing.