Saltwater Creek Estuary

Saltwater Creek

Saltwater Creek and Lagoon is a small estuary on the mid north coast of NSW connected to the ocean adjacent to the township of South West Rocks. The estuary is an Intermittently Closed and Open Lake or Lagoon (ICOLL), meaning that the waterway is not permanently connected to the ocean. In fact beach sand keeps the entrance closed for about 70% of the time, resulting in no tidal variability, and water levels that respond to catchment runoff and evaporation.

An Estuary Management Plan for Saltwater Creek and Lagoon has been prepared on behalf of Kempsey Shire Council and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), to fulfil the requirements of the NSW Estuary Management Policy (1992) and the NSW Coastal Policy (1997). The Plan will provide a program of strategic actions to assist government authorities and other stakeholder groups to sustain a healthy estuary through appropriate waterway, foreshore and catchment management. The Plan presents an integrated suite of management strategies, giving due consideration to the complex interactions between many estuarine processes and functions.

It is recognised that many environmental management practices of the past are no longer acceptable, with the community demanding higher levels of ecological conservation and holistic policy-making. This Estuary Management Plan represents a pro-active and forward thinking approach to the management of Saltwater Creek and Lagoon, and has been developed using the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD). In particular, the precautionary principle has been applied when formulating environmental protection strategies, in the absence of detailed scientific studies. Sound, best practice environmental management is at the cornerstone of each strategy, to achieve the long term goal of sustainability.

The Saltwater Creek and Lagoon Estuary Management Plan is designed to provide clear direction regarding responsibilities for actions, which will help achieve long term sustainability. The Plan also provides information on who will be responsible for implementation of these actions and how they can be funded. The Plan is designed to have an initial tenure of 5 years, after which time, conditions can be reassessed and strategies refocussed as appropriate.

Management Plan and related documents

Saltwater Creek and Lagoon Coastal Management Program

Saltwater Creek Estuary Management Plan - Consultant's Brief

Saltwater Creek Flora and Fauna Study

Saltwater Creek Estuary Management Plan (Final)

Saltwater Creek Flood Study (Final Draft Report Feb 06)