Coastline and waterways - Shoalhaven City Council

Coastline management

The Shoalhaven coastline is approximately 165 kilometres long. The proportion managed by Shoalhaven City Council is more than any other local government area in NSW. The Shoalhaven coast is very diverse with major estuaries, many coastal lakes, long wild beaches and small pocket beaches, extensive coastal dune systems, towering sandstone headlands and rugged bluffs. Shoalhaven City Council has important coastal management responsibilities, including land use planning, emergency response, safe access and recreation facilities, tourism, habitat and biodiversity protection and heritage protection.

The Coastal Zone Management Plan 2018 is Council’s overarching plan for coastline management. It’s supported by expert studies which are reviewed regularly to ensure Council is making management decisions based on the best available science.

The Plan focuses on understanding and reducing risk, i.e. the likelihood and consequences of coastal hazard impact on biodiversity, homes, infrastructure and recreation facilities. Risk management requires an adaptive approach, structured to deal with uncertainty, change and evolving scientific knowledge.

Estuary management

Shoalhaven has 14 estuarine systems, 9 of which are managed by Shoalhaven City Council; Shoalhaven River, Currarong Creek, St George Basin/Sussex Inlet, Swan Lake, Berrara Creek, Lake Conjola, Narrawallee Inlet, Burrill Lake and Tabourie Lake.

These estuaries are dynamic environments prone to both sudden changes (for instance floods) and progressive changes over thousands of years. Shoalhaven's estuaries are at different stages of their natural evolution.

Some estuaries are wave dominated estuaries, also known as ICOLLs - intermittently closed and opened lakes and Lagoons. Globally, ICOLLS are quite rare. The NSW coast is home to most of Australia’s ICOLLS and Shoalhaven City Council manages four; Swan Lake, Lake Conjola, Burrill Lake and Lake Tabourie.

Estuary Management

Flood Management

Please visit our Flood Risk Management page for information on Council's flood risk management planning.

Useful Links

Our Coast Our Lifestyle - Shoalhaven Coastal Management Community Engagement Report

Shoalhaven Coastal Hazard Mapping Review (final report)

Shoalhaven Coastal Cliffs and Slopes Risk Management Recommendations Report

Find out more about the water quality of the lakes (new window).

Check out the lake water levels by visiting the Bureau of Meteorology website (new window).

If you live or work next to a waterway, read useful information on how you could protect estuary health and comply with the law.

Learn about Protecting our Coastal Saltmarshes

Learn all about algae in estuaries of the Shoalhaven (new window).

Information regarding Horses on beaches and foreshores

Information regarding dead birds on beaches

Find out more about lake processes and sustainable management of coastal lakes in this brochure Lake Conjola

Shoalhaven Dredging Feasibility Report - March 2014



A newsletter about coastal management in Shoalhaven



A Newsletter for those who live and work in and around the Shoalhaven River Floodplain

To enjoy previous versions of Gumboot News click here

The Lower Shoalhaven River Drainage Remediation Action Plan explains the science around acid sulphate soils (ASS)

Management Options for Improving Flows of the Shoalhaven River at Shoalhaven Heads

Executive Summary - Planning for the Future of our Waterways: Understanding the circulation, flushing and sediments at Shoalhaven Heads

Meetings & Agendas

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Agendas & Minutes

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