Joint media release: Reef Builder comes to life near Narooma

22 November 2021

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
Senator Jim Molan AO DSC, Senator for New South Wales


Planning has commenced on the Wagonga Inlet to bring new life to Eurobodalla’s coastline, as Narooma joins communities around Australia that have benefited from the Morrison Government’s $20 million Reef Builder initiative.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the shoreline on the NSW South Coast will be transformed with the installation of restored oyster reefs and other natural elements to prevent erosion and protect the Wagonga Inlet Estuary.

“The Reef Builder initiative is helping revitalise shellfish reefs across the country while creating local jobs and supporting economic recovery of communities affected by the bushfires and COVID-19,” Minister Ley said.“

Shellfish reefs are rich ecosystems that support fish and other marine species by providing shelter, acting as a food source and nursery, as well as providing recreation for local residents and improving coastal water quality.

“Projects like this are helping to bring shellfish reefs back from the brink of extinction, boosting water quality, and creating new jobs, tourism and recreational opportunities.”

Senator for NSW Jim Molan said the project will focus on the coastline between the Narooma Swimming Centre and Ken Rose Park with many benefits for the community and local environment.

“This community project involves the restoration of intertidal Sydney rock oyster reef habitat and the creation of subtidal native flat oyster reef habitat on the sea floor of the Deep Hole,” Senator Molan said.

“I encourage local people to provide feedback on the proposal by participating in a Eurobodalla Council survey that runs to 17 December.”

Managing Director for The Nature Conservancy Australia (TNC) Alison Rowe said the rejuvenation of the Wagonga Inlet Estuary and the similar projects around Australia are helping to improve water quality, fish production and overall biodiversity of the coastline.

“Restoring these reefs and saltmarshes will enhance local ecosystems, improve foreshore access, and provide local communities with recreation and sustainable tourism opportunities, making it a win-win for local communities and the environment,” Ms Rowe said.

The collaborative project is supported by the Australian Government, Eurobodalla Shire Council, NSW Department of Primary Industries, and The Nature Conservancy Australia. Reef Builder is an exciting partnership between the Australian Government and The Nature Conservancy to rebuild native shellfish reefs around the Australian coastline.

To provide feedback on the Narooma project proposal visit https://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/council/major-projects