Protection and Restoration of Wetlands & Riparian Lands


One of the most important benefits that wetlands provide is their capacity to maintain and improve water quality. Read on to find out how we're protecting and restoring MidCoast wetlands, including riparian and foreshore areas.


The acquisition and restoration of the Bulahdelah Plain Wetland has allowed us improve the quality of water entering the Myall Lakes estuary.

This 366 hectare area is located on the Myall River Floodplain above the Myall Lakes Ramsar site. It was acquired by Council with support from the New South Wales Estuary Grants and the Hunter Local Land Services.

With funding support of the Commonwealth Biodiversity Fund, New South Wales Environmental Trust and New South Wales Estuary Grants programs, we're revegetating previously cleared areas of the land, controlling weeds and feral animals and excluding stock.

The works complement a significant private conservation that protects and manages 334 ha of wetland and native vegetation on a nearby landholding (delivered using the innovative Clause 4.1B exceptions to minimum lot sizes for ecological protection in Great Lakes Local Environmental Plan 2014).

These works combine to safeguard downstream waterways and conserve a large and important area of habitat for significant biodiversity. The sites are already home to a number of threatened species including the wallum froglet, spotted-tailed quoll, squirrel glider, long-nosed potoroo and black-necked stork (jabiru).

Earlier this year, Council was successful in securing a 40ha parcel of private rural land at Brimbin into public ownership.

This property fronts the ecologically significant Dawson River, conserving a tract of riparian vegetation which helps to maintain the water quality within the Dawson River and the Manning River Estuary. It also protects an area of potential acid sulfate soils, which if disturbed, can have harmful impacts on water quality and aquatic ecology. Good water quality is also essential to maintaining the productivity of a number of industries within the Manning River Estuary including oyster farming, commercial fishing and tourism.

The Brimbin property contributes to the protection of biodiversity, forming part of a vast ecological corridor which is recognised by ecologists as a ‘Biodiversity Hotspot’. The property contains a diverse range of vegetation types and provides potential habitat for a number of threatened species including squirrel gliders, brush-tailed phascogales, koalas, glossy-black cockatoos and powerful owls. It also supports one of the largest populations of the endangered narrow-leaved red gum (Eucalyptus seeana), a favoured koala food tree.

Obtaining the support of Council to purchase the property at Brimbin was based on one of the fundamental principles of best-practice environmental management, which is to "protect first and restore and rehabilitate second". This approach is based on the evidence that it is almost always more cost effective to protect rivers in good condition, rather than undertaking long term, expensive and often complex restoration and rehabilitation activities.

The allocation of funding in the past has been heavily focussed on rivers where degradation was visible, rather than those in good condition, however much greater emphasis is now placed on the lower cost option of preventing the deterioration of rivers and catchments. 


A three year project to restore an endangered coastal wetland on the Dawson River in Taree is nearing completion with fantastic results achieved for both the environment and the community.

With funding assistance provided through the NSW Environmental Trust and Council’s environmental levy, significant work has been undertaken to remove invasive weeds and encourage the regeneration of threatened vegetation communities including saltmarsh and swamp oak forest.

Primary weeding on 13.7 hectares of the site removed species such as lantana, asparagus fern, camphor laurel, creeping ruellia, morning glory, cassia, balloon vine, prickly pear, madeira vine, moth vine and tecoma.

To prevent edge effects and erosion 567 native tubestock were planted along weeded perimeters.

To promote the ecological significance of the area and the importance of wetlands, this project also involved the construction of a 430m raised boardwalk through the wetland down to the Dawson River, and the installation of a series of interpretive signs.

Dawson Wetland    Photo 7 - Story 21 - Dawson Wetland .jpg



Invasion of native bushland by weed species can have a serious effect on the environment, impacting on biodiversity as well as reducing nutrients available for plants.

Works to restore wetland and foreshore habitat in the Lower Wallamba River have delivered positive benefits for water quality and biodiversity with a three year project funded by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust on-track for completion at the end of August. The final stages of action have involved follow-up bush regeneration works targeting priority weeds across 165 hectares of sensitive foreshore lands fronting the Wallamba River at Darawank/ Minimbah. Final monitoring as part of the project has shown a high level of native regeneration enabled through the targeted removal of invasive weeds.

Pressures on native wildlife has also been reduced through a month long fox control program run during July and early August through the project area and surrounding lands including the Tuncurry Waste Management Facility, Halliday's Point Wastewater Treatment Plant and Council lands at Minimbah Road and Aerodrome Road. Monitoring of nest boxes in August highlighted a high level of usage by native fauna, especially occupation by sugar gliders, brush-tailed and ring-tailed possums, and an exciting discovery in the final year of the project was the presence of a NSW listed vulnerable species, the brush-tailed phascogale in nest boxes on Council land at Aerodrome Road. 

To wrap up the program, a river cruise of the project area took place in late August. This was very well attended with over 50 people enjoying a morning on the river viewing firsthand the works that have been taking place over the previous three years.