Our lagoons – Terrigal, Wamberal, Cochrane, and Avoca – are gems of the Central Coast, offering serene waters, awesome wildlife, and stunning views. But hey, they also need a bit of TLC due to all the love they get from our community and the pressures of development. So, let’s team up to keep the magic alive! Whether you're kayaking, bird-watching, or just chilling by the water, together we can make sure our lagoons stay vibrant and healthy for years to come.

We've decided to create a separate Coastal Management Program just for our lagoons! Their unique environments, vibrant communities, and specific needs deserve special attention. This program will ensure we can focus on preserving and enhancing these incredible natural treasures for everyone to enjoy.

We're not just planning for the future—we're inviting you to help co-design it! Your ideas and input are crucial as we enter Stage 3 of our program, where community engagement ramps up. Together, we can create a vibrant, sustainable future for our waterways.

Community Engagement so far:

Over the years we’ve heard you via:  
•    your participation in the development of existing Coastal Zone Management Plans. 
•    the feedback you submit on a weekly basis via our Customer Service Centres, emails etc. 
•    the waterways survey - view the Our Coast, Our Waterways survey results here.
•    recent consultation to understand issues and management opportunities for our Lagoons.

All this information will be used to assist in informing the Open Coast and Coastal Lagoons Coastal Management Program. 

Progress - Previous management plans:     

Previous management plans for our Lagoons include the Coastal Zone Management Plan for Gosford’s Lagoons (Cardno 2015), associated with the Coastal Zone Management Study circa 2012/13. So far 65% of the previously adopted actions have been completed (or are ongoing actions). For the other 35%, it is anticipated that these actions will be carried over into the new Coastal Management Program were appropriate.   

Progress – Stage 1 Scoping Study: 

Stage 1 Scoping Study for the Open Coast and Coastal Lagoons was done as a combine study and has been completed and reviewed by Council and NSW DPIE staff. It Identified knowledge gaps, recommended Stage 2 studies and provided a forward program for next Stages. 

Progress – Stage 2 Technical Studies: 

We were awarded a Coast and Estuary grant worth $327,000 from the NSW State Government to allow us to complete the studies needed as the second stage of the CMP development process for both the Open Coast and Coastal Lagoons CMPs.  

The first study we completed was a Social and Recreational Use Study to understand the recreational use and recreational infrastructure along our coastline and lagoons and provide a comprehensive series of recommendations for consideration in the development of the new Coastal Management Program.  

We have also now completed the Avoca Lagoon Process Study, Green and Golden Bell Frog population studies and Bareena Wetland Hydrological Study which you are welcome to read here. 

Stage 3 Options Assessment: 

Stage 3 is all about using existing information and recommendations from stage 2 studies to develop an options assessment, shaped by community consultation. The aim is to identify and evaluate possible management options in order to develop the best management program, guided by scientific evidence and community values.  


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Stage Five – Implementation and Evaluation

Who's listening

Who's listening
Catchments to Coast team
Melissa Sawatske - Natural Landscapes Officer
4921 0333
Is Central Coast Council working with Lake Macquarie City Council to develop the Lake Macquarie CMP?

Yes. Lake Macquarie City Council are leading the delivery of the Lake Macquarie CMP with Central Coast Council providing support and assisting with management actions that fall within the Central Coast Local Government Area. 

Who is responsible for the overall delivery and implementation of the Lake Macquarie Coastal Management Plan?

The Lake Macquarie CMP will be delivered by Lake Macquarie City Council with support from representatives from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment and Central Coast Council.

How can the community get involved in the development of the Lake Macquarie Coastal Management Plan?

Lake Macquarie City Council have multiple opportunities for the community to get involved in, further information on these opportunities is available at: https://shape.lakemac.com.au/coastal  

Central Coast Council undertook a survey which was designed to assist us in understanding how the community use and value waterways – this information is being used to assist in developing and delivering on actions associated with the ongoing health and maintenance of Lake Macquarie (we want to play our part too).

You can also register here to participate in focus groups for Lake Macquarie.  

What is the water quality like in southern Lake Macquarie?

Council has a water quality monitoring program in place for all its waterways, including southern Lake Macquarie. Routine sampling southern Lake Macquarie began in 2017-18. These programs help to understand past and current condition, identify where we need to focus our management actions and determine long-term trends in water quality and ecological health. 

Sampling is undertaken by scientists throughout the year at a number of representative sites. Data is collected on site condition, water chemistry, nutrient concentrations and a range of biological indicators which tell us about the health and resilience of each area. The program aligns with the NSW Estuary Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Protocols and allows us to compare our results to other estuaries in NSW.   

The 2019-20 Waterways Report Card for the Central Coast Local Government Area has been released and includes Southern Lake Macquarie, Tuggerah Lakes, Brisbane Water, the Lower Hawkesbury River and the coastal lagoons – providing a clear picture of our entire waterways network. The 2019-20 report tells us: 

  • Of the 36 sites sampled, 25% are excellent, 39% are good, 33% are fair and 3% are very poor 
  • Brisbane Water estuary is generally considered good or excellent, with fair ratings at Narara Creek, Erina Creek and Kincumber Broadwater 
  • Water quality throughout the Tuggerah Lakes estuary was generally good, with fair results for Budgewoi Lake, Wallarah Creek, Canton Beach, Ourimbah Creek and Killarney Vale and an excellent rating for Chittaway Bay 
  • The water quality at our southern Lake Macquarie sites is excellent 
  • Our coastal lagoons vary from excellent at Cockrone Lagoon to very poor at Avoca Lagoon. 

Council uses this information to track change, help guide our management decisions and identify areas where more detailed catchment audits are required. 

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