NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Marine estate management

The department is a member agency of the NSW Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA).

MEMA coordinates policies and programs for maintaining and improving the marine environment, including all marine waters and the State’s network of marine parks and aquatic reserves. MEMA’s vision for the NSW marine estate is to have a healthy coast and sea managed for the greatest wellbeing of the community, now and into the future.

The NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy identifies high priority marine estate management actions over the ten year period from 2018 to 2028. The strategy includes nine interlinked initiatives, which are each supported by detailed actions. Collectively, these initiatives are addressing the priority and cumulative threats identified in the ‘NSW Marine Estate Threat and Risk Assessment Final Report’.

The nine initiatives are:

  1. Improving water quality and reducing litter
  2. Delivering healthy coastal habitats with sustainable use and development
  3. Planning for climate change
  4. Protecting the Aboriginal cultural values of the marine estate
  5. Reducing impacts on threatened and protected species
  6. Ensuring sustainable fishing and aquaculture
  7. Enabling safe and sustainable boating
  8. Enhancing social, cultural and economic benefits
  9. Delivering effective governance.

Visit the NSW Marine Estate website to find out about NSW marine estate, MEMA and the strategy.

Download the Strategy

Planning actions under the strategy

The department is supporting several Marine Estate Management Strategy projects including those outlined below.

Construction sediment management

As part of its contribution to Initiative One of the strategy – to improve water quality and reduce litter - we are currently developing a set of development consent conditions for erosion and sediment (ErSed) management at development sites during the construction phase. The conditions are focused on local development, the most common type of development in NSW.

Without proper controls, sediment from construction sites can be washed into surrounding waterways presenting a significant threat to water quality. Reasonable and practical consent conditions for erosion and sediment control are an essential part of minimising runoff, ensuring our waterways can sustain native vegetation and wildlife as well as supporting community and commercial activities.

Coastal Design Guidelines

The Coastal Design Guidelines for NSW were published in 2003. They provide urban design guidance for coastal areas in order to ensure coastal settlements are appropriate for our unique coastal environments.

We are updating the coastal urban design guidance as part of Initiative Two - delivering healthy coastal habitats with sustainable use and development. Share your feedback on the draft 2022 Coastal Design Guideline.

The revised guidelines will reflect best practice urban design and provide useful guidance for planners and urban designers to assist them in creating sustainable and resilient settlements that respond well to their unique coastal environments.

For more information on all strategy projects, see the NSW Marine Estate website.

Page last updated: 02/11/2022