Environment & Waste

Coastal Lagoons Management Planning

Gosford's four coastal lagoon systems (Wamberal, Terrigal, Avoca and Cockrone) are a significant geographic feature of the region. The lagoon systems are a highly valued natural resource for local residents and visitors alike and support a network of significant ecological communities as well as a diverse range of recreational uses. 

These lagoons belong to a special class of estuary known as Intermittently Closing and Opening Lakes and Lagoons (ICOLLs). An ICOLL is a shallow coastal water body that is separated from the ocean by an entrance barrier, that is connected at least intermittently to the ocean by one or more restricted inlets. They have a low tolerance of external pressures compared to other estuary types, so they need to be carefully managed and conserved in order to prevent significant environmental degradation.

However, past land-use changes and human activities, combined with a growing population, are placing increasing pressure on the natural values and ecological health of the lagoons. Each lagoon is subject to a variety of influences which may threaten the existing economic, social and environmental values.

Improved planning aims to provide a balance between environmental protection and human activities. Council is working on a range of planning activities which aim to provide a balanced long-term strategic management framework for the integrated and ecologically sustainable use of our coast and estuaries.

Council uses the latest scientific information, combined with community and stakeholder feedback, to develop Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMPs). The primary purpose of a CZMP is to describe what can be done by council, other public authorities and the community, to address priority management issues over a defined implementation period. These issues include:

  • Pressures on coastal ecosystems;
  • Community uses of the coastal zone, and
  • Managing risks to public safety and built assets.
Council is working to develop and adopt CZMPs for all geographical catchments within the Gosford LGA. Comprehensive plans have been developed for the Lower Hawkesbury River (2009), Brisbane Water (2012), Pearl Beach Lagoon (2014) and Gosford Coastal Lagoons (2015).

Coastal Lagoon Management Plans

  • Coastal Lagoons Processes Study 2010

  • Coastal Zone Management Study for Gosford's Coastal Lagoons 2014

  • Coastal Zone Management Plan for Gosford's Coastal Lagoons 2015

  • Pearl Beach Lagoon Coastal Zone Management Plan 2014

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