The Tuggerah Lakes Estuary Management Plan (EMP) was adopted by the former Wyong Shire Council in 2006 and certified as a Coastal Zone Management Plan in 2007. The EMP identified priorities, costs and likely timeframes for taking further action. It incorporates the social, economic and environmental values of the Tuggerah Lakes and was subject to community consultation before it was finalised and implementation began. The EMP provides guidance on the types of actions that should be undertaken to protect the estuary, the order in which they should be completed and the estimated cost.
The overarching aims of the EMP are to ensure that:
- the quality and quantity of water meet the needs of the community and lakes and rivers
- the plants along the banks of rivers, lakes and in wetlands are protected because these are essential to a healthy ecosystem
- biodiversity and ecological integrity of the lakes ecosystem are maintained or enhanced
- human activities can take place while protecting cultural heritage and enhancing soil, water and ecosystem health
- the social and economic needs of the community are met while protecting the environment of the coastal zone
- we continue to improve our understanding of how the estuary works and incorporate this knowledge into management.
As of 2020, it is estimated that 86% of the priority actions have been completed or are ongoing. A detailed summary of the implementation the Tuggerah Lakes Estuary Management Plan can be found here (link to summary report).
When the Coastal Management Act 2016 (CM Act) came into force, it introduced a new framework for coastal management and as part of the savings provisions in the CM Act, any existing certified Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMPs) remained valid but need to transition to the requirements of the Coastal Management Act by December 2021.
Council is continuing to implement actions from existing EMPs/ CZMPs whilst developing new Coastal Management Programs.