Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Free Upgrade Submission

SCCG was recently invited to prepare a submission on the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway upgrade. While SCCG recognises the need to provide for additional road network and improvement connectivity to alleviate Sydney’s traffic congestion, the submission raised three primary concerns, it wishes to alleviate. This includes:

  1. The potential public health risk associated with disturbance of toxic sediments on the harbour floor. SCCG recommended for this to be appropriately managed and monitored.
  2. Impact on marine biodiversity through the mobilisation of toxic sediment which could effect availability and suitability of food sources for several threatened species. Due to potential affects to intertidal rocky shore habitats, SCCG recommended for these areas be rehabilitated and restored.
  3. Finally, highlighting the impact on micro bats as several roost sites of the Eastern Bent-wing Bat (a listed threatened species) are located in the project sitting. SCCG would like to see a more detailed threatened species assessment be undertaken as well as ensuring the project complies with the Commonwealth’s National Light Pollution Guidelines for Wildlife which highlights the effect artificial light has on micro bat species.

SCCG welcomes further opportunities to provide comment on the proposed project in the future.

A copy of the submission can be found here and under the ‘Advocacy Submissions’ tab of our website.

‘New Look’ Technical Committee

As you may know, SCCG are dedicated to delivering quarterly technical committee meetings where council staff get together to exchange information, collaborate on current and emerging needs and develop regional projects and programs directly related to coastal and estuarine management.

In consultation with its members, SCCG has decided to theme our Technical Committees to ensure we can attract specialised staff across all council divisions including strategic planners, environmental officers, engineers and sustainability educators.

Our next Technical Committee meeting on 21 May 2020 will be themed around biodiversity!

For this meeting, SCCG are excited to announce that Commonwealth representatives from the Biodiversity Conservation Division of the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment will be hosting a webinar on the National Light Pollution Guidelines for Wildlife, due to be finalised in 2020. This webinar will be made available to all SCCG member council staff.

MEMA : FAQ for Local Government

The Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA) has released a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ pamphlet specifically for local governments. The FAQ includes an overview of the Marine Estate Management Strategy as well as providing a guide on how to integrate the strategy with a Coastal Management Program. Finally, a MEMA organisation structure is provided along with key contacts that can assist councils with their CMP integration.

 

The FAQ can be found at the Marine Estate Management Authority website, or alternatively, can be downloaded here.

Climate Change in Estuaries

A multi-disciplinary team led by researchers from UNSW and Macquarie University is releasing the first large-scale summary of how our estuaries – and the 80 per cent of NSW residents living on them – will be impacted by climate change.

The research sets to address the complexity surrounding the assessment of impacts and effects of climate change in estuaries. To do this, researchers have developed a multi-report guide designed for estuarine management, scientists, practitioners and coastal communities.

The guide consists of 8 module reports that cover the relevant climate, ocean and ecosystem science along with best practice frameworks for prioritising climate risks in estuaries. These modules are designed to be read together or independently and are freely available online.

The research was funded under the Coastal Node, an initiative led by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science to improve the knowledge base of impact assessment, risk management and adaptation responses of local communities and councils in the coastal zone.

Further information and links to the modules can be found here.

2020 Funding Guide

The Sydney Coastal Councils Group (SCCG) Funding Guide is produced and updated annually to assist Member Councils and other Stakeholders in identifying funding opportunities to support the management and protection of Sydney’s coastal and estuarine environments. The Guide provides a wide-ranging and structured list of funding opportunities available to councils and other stakeholders in a single resource. The production of the Funding Guide is part of the SCCG Capacity Building Program that builds the role and capacity of Member Councils and other stakeholders to sustainably manage urban coastal and estuarine environments.

In addition to this Guide, the SCCG will continue to publish upcoming grant opportunities here in its monthly update on the SCCG Website.

A copy of the Funding Guide is available to SCCG Member Councils in the ‘Members Area’ of our website.

Sand Management Working Group

The Sand Management Working Group has now been re-established!

The Working Group was previously established in 2007 to provide advice, direction and assistance to advance the application of broad scale regional beach nourishment program(s) in Sydney. In 2019, it was identified that key issues faced by councils in regard to coastal erosion was still of concern, and approval was therefore given to re-establish the Working Group.

Sand Management, in particular beach nourishment, has been recognised as a potential adaptive option to offset the adverse impacts of seal level rise and increasing storm intensity on coastal assets including the retention of public beaches. (Gordon, 2009 ‘The Potential for Offshore Sand Sources to Offset Climate Change Impacts on Sydney’s Beaches’). The potential devastating impacts are evident from the 2016 ‘D Day Storm’ which moved 410,000m3 of sand from the Collaroy-Narrabeen beach alone during this time. Several other councils are also experiencing beach erosion and, in some areas, unwanted beach accretion which also has an impact on private and public assets.

In November 2019, SCCG held it’s first meeting of the Working Group with representatives from member and non-member councils, NSW Coastal Council and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to identify priority issues, workshop solutions and commit to regular meetings. A presentation was also given by Angus Gordon OAM, NSW Coastal Council, highlighting potential sources of sand, benefits and costs of beach nourishment works and a possible way forward for program implementation.

A copy of the outcomes report of this meeting and presentation given by Angus Gordon OAM is available for member councils in the ‘members area’ of the SCCG website.

SCCG Strategic Plan 2019-2020

Sydney Coastal Councils Group is proud to present the SCCG Strategic Plan 2019-2019. This document consists of a new vision and sets our six goals which set to provide value for members and enhance and protect the coastal and estuarine environment.

This Strategic Plan was developed to align with key strategic documents developed by our member Councils and key stakeholders.  The Plan seeks to align with relevant legislation, policies and agreements including the Greater Sydney Commission’s Metropolis of Three Cities and District Plans; Coastal Management Act; Marine Estate Management Act and Australia’s obligations relating to biodiversity. The Plan also includes an evaluation of effectiveness and timely delivery of its strategies in alignment with local government’s Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework.

SCCG is confident in the suitably of this document to provide benefit to all key stakeholders and to appropriately manage the coastal and estuarine environment under the unprecedented changes set to occur in our coastal community and government services over the next decade.

 

The SCCG Strategic Plan 2019-2029 can be found here.

 

Summerama 2020

Summer is finally here and it’s time to get outside and spend time on the coast!

Join in the fun this summer with the 2020 Summerama program.

Discover our marine and coastal environments by participating in the  Summerama Activities run throughout January 2020. Summerama is a fun day out for individuals, friends and families with activities on offer from kayaking to snorkelling tours to rock pool rambles to walks n’ talks.

 

Check out the 2020 Calendar to find your closest Summerama Event!

Walking Coastal Sydney

Explore the beautiful coastline of Sydney!

As part of the Walking Coastal Sydney Project, a series of maps were produced to provide for a continuous walking track from Pittwater in the north to Sutherland in the south which link with existing coastal walks. These maps have recently been updated and can now be downloaded to your smart phone or tablet.

The aim of the Walking Coastal Sydney project is to promote public access to, and enhance the appreciation and recreational enjoyment of Sydney’s coastline and estuaries for the people of Sydney and visitors to the city. Walking Coastal Sydney was a partnership project between the Sydney Coastal Councils Group, the Walking Volunteers Inc. and Department of Planning, with funding received through the Sharing Sydney Harbour Access Program.

The maps and detailed download instructions can be found here under the ‘Walking Coastal Sydney’ tab.

 

Beach Pollution Ends Here

Randwick City Council are proud to announce the launch of their new education campaign aimed at reducing storm water pollution and improving the water quality of their waterways and beaches.

The initiative includes a fun and interactive web page which can be found here. Explore the page to find out how you can make a difference and help keep our beaches clean!

Randwick City Council have also produced a series of Youtube videos to show what they’re doing to help improve beach water quality. Be sure to check them out here!

Beach Pollution Cinema advertisement

How Gross Pollutant Traps keep 300 tonnes of rubbish from our beaches each year

How stormwater can be recycled (featuring Tim Silverwood from Take 3 for the Sea)

How Randwick Council cleans our streets and beaches