A new subtidal habitat map series to inform management in NSW coastal waters.
Jordan A, Creese B, West G, Davies P, Mesley E, Ingleton T, Neilson J, and Hughes B (2010) A new subtidal habitat map series to inform management in NSW coastal waters. Presentation given at the 19th NSW Coastal Conference ("Coastal Management – all aboard, making it work!"), 10 – 12 November 2010, Batemans Bay, NSW, Australia.
The NSW Marine Habitat Mapping Project has been a collaboration between the Coastal Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs), NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) and NSW Department of Industry and Investment (I&I NSW). Jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State governments, the best available bathymetric and seabed habitat data have been compiled to create the first marine habitat maps for all NSW State coastal waters. As part of the project DECCW undertook the marine mapping and DII the estuarine mapping, with a number of external consultants conducting more detailed biodiversity assessments for key faunal and floral groups. A review of underwater volunteer groups in NSW was also undertaken to examine their capacity to collaborate with scientists on future projects.
The general aim of the project was to collate all existing statewide information on the spatial distribution of key oceanic and estuarine benthic habitats in NSW, and to conduct targeted mapping surveys to fill in knowledge gaps. Marine and estuarine habitat maps are required by CMAs for sustainable natural resource management by focusing investments on activities such as seagrass friendly moorings, coastal catchment initiatives and habitat protection through community education. Baseline habitat information is also essential for monitoring, evaluation and reporting which measures performance towards natural resource management targets.
This talk will outline the habitat mapping project and present some of the main findings of the project focusing on the southern coast of NSW. The habitat map series, as well as the detailed maps of seabed bathymetry, natural and man-made estuarine foreshore features and broadscale sediments will provide natural resource managers, industry and the community with the information needed to improve sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity conservation within marine and estuarine areas of NSW.