Coastal Management

The Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA) covers approximately 70 kilometres of coastline, extending from Bundagen in the south to Station Creek in the north. Over 90% of the coastline is sandy beaches, separated by rocky headlands and estuaries. 

The coastal zones includes habitats such as rock platforms, mangrove forests, sea grass meadows, wetlands, estuaries and coastal lakes.  These environments are affected by pressures resulting from both human induced and natural coastal processes. 

Coastal processes are complex systems affecting the coastline, impacting upon private and public assets, property, ecosystems and the environment.

Coastal Processes 

Through natural processes and the resulting hazards, our coastline is ever changing: beaches and sand dunes erode and are rebuilt in response to wave action; sand dunes migrate inland in response to wind attack; stormwater erodes the coastal strip and can modify eco-system dynamics.  

The main hazards identified on the NSW coastline include:

  • Beach Erosion
  • Shoreline Recession
  • Coastal Entrance Instability
  • Vegetation Degradation and Sand Drift
  • Coastal Inundation
  • Slope and Cliff Instability, and
  • Stormwater Erosion.

With more than 80% of the State's population living and working along the eastern seaboard, managing coastline hazards is a difficult but essential task.

Under the NSW State Government framework local councils must undertake coastal hazard studies and develop coastal zone management plans. These inform land-use planning, development controls and other coastal activities.

Accordingly, City of Coffs Harbourhas developed and adopted the Coffs Harbour Coastal Zone Management Plan(PDF, 12MB) which was last updated in 2019.