New South Wales (NSW) marine habitat mapping

Summary

The NSW Marine Habitat Mapping Project has been a collaboration between the Coastal Catchment Management Authorities (CMA’s), NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) and NSW Department of Industry and Investment (DII). Jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State governments, the best available bathymetric and seabed habitat data has 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 CMA’s 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.

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Executive summary

NSW Marine habitat mapping project

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Technical reports

  1. R.G. Creese, T. M. Glasby, G. West, C. Gallen (2009). Mapping the habitats of NSW estuaries (13MB). NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Final Report Series.
  2. A. Jordan, P. Davies, T. Ingleton, E. Mesley, J. Neilson, T. Pritchard (2009). Seabed habitat mapping of the continental shelf waters of NSW. NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water Occasional Paper Series.

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Fact sheets

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Habitat Types

Representative images of seabed habitats

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MangroveSpongeEcklonia radiataPosidonia australis
 
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SalmarshRocky shoreHalophia ovalisUrchin barren

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3-D visualisations

Fly-throughs of seabed bathymetry of the NSW shelf (coming soon)

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Associated Reports

  1. Davis, A., Broad, A., Roberts, D. and Jordan, A. (2010). Review of sponges in NSW coastal waters: ecology, diversity and distribution. NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water Occasional Paper Series.
  2. DECCW (2010). Compilation of oceanographic spatial data for NSW. Report to Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority from the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.
  3. Smith, S.D.A., Dalton, S.J., Harrison, M.A. and Bowling, T. (2009). Long-term program to monitor the health of nearshore reefs: Regional evaluation and site selection. Report to the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority and NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, 25pp.
  4. Smith, S.D.A. (2009). A state-wide assessment of marine, intertidal, molluscan death assemblages for NSW. Report to the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, 30pp.
  5. Dalton, S.J. and Smith, S.D.A. (2009). A review of underwater volunteer groups in NSW. Report to the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority, 39pp.

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