Coastal Management Program Southern Coastline including Estuaries


Planning for our coastline is underway in line with the NSW Government's coastal management framework. This involves preparing Coastal Management Programs (CMP).

A Coastal Management Program (CMP) is an action plan for Council and other authorities responsible for managing coastal zones to:

  • Address coastal hazard risks.
  • Preserve habitats and cultural uses.
  • Encourage sustainable agricultural, economic and built development in the coastal zone.
  • Maintain or improve recreational amenity and resilience.
  • Adapt to emerging issues such as population growth and climate change. 

The CMP will be a long-term strategy to guide the management of the most popular and visited coastal areas of Byron Shire.

Study area

Byron Shire has 35km of open coast and three estuaries bounded by 262 km2 of coastal catchments.

The Shire’s beaches, headlands, estuaries, and catchments have varied environmental, geomorphic, and hydrological processes. The complex array of management issues makes it too difficult to consider one scoping study for the Coastline.

The study area for the Southern Coastline and estuaries includes:

  • Coastal areas from Broken Head in the south to Cape Byron in the north.
  • Coastal creeks and lakes such as Belongil Creek estuary, Tallow Creek estuary, Ti Tree (Taylor’s) Lake and their wider catchments.

See the project page Coastal Management Program (CMP) Northern Coastline for more information on the northern coastline study area and other project details.

Stage 1: Identify the scope of the CMP - Complete

Council adopted the Southern Byron Shire Coastline and Belongil Estuary Scoping Study(PDF, 40MB) in August 2021, informed by community feedback from late 2020 to early 2021.

The scoping study details engagement and information from other agencies involved in managing the coastal zone such as the

  • Department of Primary Industry,  
  • Fisheries and Marine Parks,
  • DPIE Crown Lands,
  • NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, and
  • Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) People.

Study area: Scoping Study for the southern Byron Shire coastline and Belongil estuary


Stage 2: Risks, vulnerability and opportunities - In progress

An outcome of Stage 1 was the identification of studies and activities required to fill key data gaps and to answer questions relating to priority management issues, including the following.

  • Coastal hazard assessment - funded and in progress. See our Coastal Hazards page for more information.
  • Consideration of mapping of an erosion escarpment, a coastal vulnerability area.
  • Identification of water pollution sources.
  • An audit of the coastal planning framework for Byron Shire.
  • Activities involving engagement of Aboriginal cultural knowledge holders.
  • Review of Tallow Creek and Belongil Creek Entrance Opening Strategies.

Council will continue to seek State Government grant funding form the State Government Coast and Estuary Grants Program to assist in completing Stage 2 studies. These will ensure the development of more effective management strategies and actions in Stage 3.

Stages 3, 4 and 5

These stages will commence after completion of Stage 2 studies and will include:

  • identifying and evaluating options,
  • preparing, exhibiting, and adopting a CMP, and then
  • implementing, monitoring and reporting.



How you can be involved

There will be opportunities for community involvement as the CMP is prepared through the stages.  As part of Stage 1, Council developed a Community and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy which will guide consultation.