What's a Coastal Management Program?

Port Stephens Council is developing a Coastal Management Program (CMP) to provide a framework for managing priority coastal threats within our local government area (LGA) now and into the future.

The CMP sets the long-term strategy for the coordinated management of the coast and is prepared by local Councils whose local government area is included within the coastal zone. The CMP is being developed in line with the objectives of the Coastal Management Act 2016 (CM Act) and according to the NSW Coastal Management Manual’s five-step process (refer to figure below). with more information available via the NSW Department of Planning and Environment website

CMP processSource: NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Where is the CMP up to?

We're now in Stage 4 of the CMP – the preparation of the draft CMP is now on public exhibition and open for comment. The draft CMP includes the preparation of a Coastal Zone Emergency Action sub-plan.

Previous stages

The Stage 1 Scoping Study established 3 areas of consideration:

  • open coast;
  • inner port; and
  • outer port (refer to the figure below)

Note: The remaining areas of Port Stephens will be covered by a separate CMP which is being developed in conjunction with Newcastle, Maitland and Dungog councils which is called the Hunter Estuary Coastal Management Plan. This plan is currently at Stage 1.

Outer Port - CMP Map

The scoping study undertaken in Stage 1 identified a range of priority threats affecting the Port Stephens coastal zones. The coastal zones are identified as the open coast, inner port and outer port.

The threats include:

  • Coastal hazard threats
  • Water quality threats
  • Biodiversity threats
  • Development and industry threats
  • Recreational activtity threats

In Stage 2 we looked at the above coastal hazards in detail and mapped them across our coastal zone during the timeframes 2020, 2040, 2070 and 2120. The vision and the guiding principles were also drafted and have provided a backbone for the development of the draft CMP.

In November 2022 we engaged Rhelm, a specialist consulting company to help deliver the remaining Stage 3 and Stage 4 of our CMP. Rhelm supported by Blue Coast, a coastal engineering company, in developing the draft plan and the assessment of the viability of potential management options.

Stage 3 has included feedback opportunities for key stakeholders and has helped determine the following:

  • Management options for the above coastal hazards
  • Management options for other key risks and opportunities for sustainable coastal management
  • Feasibility of the management options including economic viability assessment undertaken by consultant.

The information collected during Stage 3 has been used to help draft the Coastal Management Plan.

What do management options look like?

One of the most effective ways to manage the risk of coastal hazards is through strategic land use planning and development controls. The draft management options for the CMP were developed from the engagement undertaken in Stage 3. To find out more about 60 draft management options read the summary document or the full draft Port Stephens CMP.

Infographic of CMP Management Options