What is a Coastal Management Program?

    A Coastal Management Program (CMP) sets the long-term strategy for the coordinated management of the coast, with a focus on achieving the objectives of the Coastal Management Act 2016.

    The CMP will identify coastal management issues and actions for the Wollongong open coast, balancing priorities for environmental, cultural, recreational and commercial values, along with adaptation to emerging issues such as sea-level rise and a changing population.

    The CMP will detail how and when those actions are to be implemented, their costs, how they will be funded and by whom.

    The preparation of the CMP must be prepared in accordance with the NSW government framework that includes meeting the obligations under NSW Coastal Management Act 2016 and the five stages outlined in the NSW Coastal Management Manual. 

    The framework also specifies the roles and responsibilities for relevant Ministers, the NSW Coastal Council, public authorities and local councils, as well as providing opportunities for communities to participate when preparing and implementing a CMP. 

    Why is the CMP important?

    Our coastline is a sensitive natural environment that is exposed to natural coastal processes, population growth and diverse coastal uses, which create complex challenges. Council and other stakeholders are responsible for planning for and managing these challenges. The CMP aims to provide a coordinated and balanced approach to the management of the coast and coastal assets to ensure safety and sustainability both now and into the future.

    How is the CMP developed?

    The preparation of the Wollongong Open Coast Coastal Management Program involves five stages:

    • Stage 1: Identify the scope of the CMP
    • Stage 2: Determine risks, vulnerabilities, and opportunities
    • Stage 3: Identify and evaluate options
    • Stage 4: Prepare, exhibit, finalise, certify, and adopt the CMP
    • Stage 5: Implement, monitor, evaluate and report

    We are currently in Stage One, scoping the Coastal Management Program for the Wollongong Open Coast.

    What is a Scoping Study?

    Stage one is the scoping phase of the five-stage CMP process. The primary objective of the scoping study is to understand what our community values about our coast and current and future issues in coastal areas. This will help us develop a shared understanding of the current state of the coastal zone, identify issues and areas of focus of the new CMP.

    Following the community and stakeholder consultation period and the collation of relevant data, we will prepare a Scoping Study.

    What area is covered by the Scoping Study?

    The Scoping Study encompasses the full length of the coast and estuaries, approximately 60km of coast within the City of Wollongong Local Government Area.


    How can I participate?

    Engagement for the Stage 1 Scoping Study has now closed. There will be further opportunities for participation in the CMP project in Stage 2-5.

    Who is managing the project?

    Wollongong Council is the lead organisation in preparing the CMP, and is working with relevant agencies who have a role in management of the coast.

    The Stage 1 Scoping Study project was supported with $66,000 from the NSW Government’s Coastal and Estuary Management Program.

    Is Lake Illawarra in the CMP process?

    Lake Illawarra will not be part of this CMP for the coastal zone of the Wollongong LGA. Wollongong Council has already developed a CMP for Lake Illawarra in partnership with Shellharbour City Council and the NSW Government. The CMP was completed in 2020 and is a strategic program that will guide us in taking care of the lake over the next 5 to 10 years. 


    How does this project relate to the Wollongong Coastal Zone Management Plan and/or Wollongong Dune Management Strategy?

    In 2010, Council completed a Coastal Zone Study that identified the coastal processes and hazards potentially impacting the coastline and mapped the extent of land potentially impacted for the current year (2010) and the 2050 and 2100 timeframes. These hazards include beach erosion and shoreline recession, inundation of back beach areas, and geotechnical instability.

    In 2012, Council used these mapped hazard areas in a risk assessment process to prepare a Coastal Zone Management Plan. This Plan was a strategic framework for co-ordinated, integrated and ecologically sustainable management of the coast affected by the coastal hazards, and the protection of coastal environments into the future. The Plan was certified by the NSW Government in 2017.

    The Study and Plan were prepared under the NSW Coastal Protection Act 1979, which has been repealed and replaced with the Coastal Management Act 2016.  Under this new Act, Coastal Management Programs take the place of Coastal Zone Management Plans. Transitional arrangements in the legislation allow any existing certified Plan to be recognised until December 2023.

    A key issue identified in the Coastal Zone Management Plan was management of dunes, including excessive dune heights and scarping, and the role of dune vegetation in these issues. The Dune Management Strategy for the Patrolled Swimming Areas of 17 Beaches was prepared in 2013 to address beach amenity, degradation of sight lines for lifeguards and lifesavers, and access issues raised by the community, while considering biodiversity values and the role of dunes in coastal processes. The range of management options in the Strategy have now been implemented. 

    The CMP for the open coast of Wollongong LGA will replace these previous documents which can be found at https://wollongong.nsw.gov.au/about/environment/coast-and-waterways.