Shaws Bay Precinct
Water quality and amenity improvements
Ballina Shire Council has embarked on a series of actions from the Coastal Zone Management Plan to improve the Shaws Bay precinct for the health of the ecosystem and our community.
Shaws Bay is the body of water that was formed when the northern training wall of the Richmond River was constructed near the river entrance at Ballina.
The bay comprises part of the former river course and exchanges water with the main river every day. It is a popular spot for leisure activities such as picnicking, swimming, snorkelling, canoeing and walking.
The area is very scenic and the landform varies from gently sloping beaches to a steep sandy escarpment which retains littoral rainforest species. The seagrasses in the bay are regarded as some of the best in northern NSW and provide a wonderful environment for safe snorkelling.
Protecting the health of the bay and providing community access
As you may have observed in recent months, Ballina Shire Council has been undertaking a variety of foreshore and amenity improvement works around Shaws Bay. These projects are part of the implementation of the Shaws Bay Coastal Zone Management Plan which was formally certified and gazetted by the NSW government in 2016.
Ballina Shire Council will progressively work through these actions, and has identified the following works to progress (see factsheets below for more information).
Actions completed or underway
Mangrove removal occuring annually along the training wall and on the western foreshore adjacent to Compton Drive (juvenile mangroves and as per licence from Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries).
Water testing and monitoring for recreational swimming quality under the Beachwatch Program commenced and occurs weekly.
New toilet facilities at Pop Denison Park.
Action 1: Control bank erosion and siltation into the bay
These works are now finalised with banks stabilised and access to the bay improved. Sandy beaches have been created and access to other areas has been limited to allow for revegetation.
Funding partners: Ballina Shire Council, Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Industry - Lands.
Action 2: Dredging
Objective: Reduce infilling and improve water circulation.
This component is purley for the investigation into the feasability of dredging Shaws Bay. This also includes the preparation of studies and obtaining the relevant approvals. Once approvals/permits are obtained Council will apply for grant funding to complete the dredging works.
- Dredging – Two areas in the main section of the Bay will be dredged to reduce siltation, maintain deep water, improve tidal circulation within the Bay and decrease water quality risks.
- Sand Processing – Dredged material will be pumped from the dredge areas to a temporary processing site at the northern end of Pop Denison Park. Processing will first involve screening of the sand to remove shells, large organic matter and other debris. This sand will then be pumped through a hydro-cyclone to remove silt and fine organic material to produce clean sand. This sand will be an ideal resource for beach improvement works.
- Beach improvement – After processing, the dredged sand will be transported back to a number of locations around Shaws Bay by either truck or earth moving equipment. Sand will be used to ‘top up’ existing beaches and address areas of bank erosion. There will also be significant expansion of one beach on the eastern foreshore, which together with improved access from Pop Denison Park, will greatly enhance the amenity of this location.
- Ecological enhancement – The northern area of Shaws Bay was identified in the CZMP as an ecological protection zone to balance impacts associated with amenity improvement in other areas. As a part of this project some of this area will be managed to create additional saltmarsh habitat, an endangered ecological community that provides important habitat for a large range of estuarine species. The provision of this habitat will not only benefit the ecological community and improve the ecological value of the Bay but in conjunction with the improvement of Pop Denison Park provide a chance for education, appreciation and enjoyment of the habitat by the broader community.
See below for Hydrosphere Consulting detailed reports.
Anticipated Completion: July 2018 (investigation, studies and approvals)
Funding partners: Ballina Shire Council and the Office of Environment and Heritage.
Action 3: Improve Compton Drive Foreshore
Objective: Enhance safety and recreational amenity of the foreshore and improve stormwater systems and treatments.
Anticipated Completion: May 2018
Funding partners: Ballina Shire Council.
Action 4: Expand Pop Denison Park
Objective: Enhance ecological value, foreshore access and recreational amenity of the Park.
These works improve access to the eastern foreshore. The shared path will also continue through this precinct with additional carparking.
Timeline to commence: 2018/2019
Funding partners: Ballina Shire Council.
Factsheets and Reports:
- Shaws Bay Precinct - dredging and foreshore - review of environmental factors - June 2018 (17mb pdf)
- Shaws Bay Precinct - dredging feasibility study - Update - April 2018 (5mb pdf)
- Shaws Bay Precinct - Hyrdosphere Consulting - Dredging Baseline surveys and data analysis - March 2018 (6.4mb pdf)
- Shaws Bay Precinct - Hyrdosphere Consulting - Dredging Options Assessment and Plan - April 2018 (5.7mb pdf)
- Shaws Bay Precinct - water quality and amenity improvements - Update - February 2018 (1mb pdf)
- Shaws Bay Precinct - water quality and amenity improvements - Update - November 2017
- Shaws Bay Precinct - water quality and amenity improvements - Update - February 2017
- Shaws Bay Coastal Zone Management Plan - Volume 1 - November 2015 (2.8mb pdf)
- Shaws Bay Coastal Zone Management Plan - Volume 2 - November 2015 (3.2mb pdf)
- Shaws Bay Estuary Management Plan 2000 (pdf)
- Shaws Bay Part V - Notice of Determination - 1 March 2017
- Shaws Bay Foreshore Upgrades - Review of Environmental Effects - 29 January 2017 (11.6mb pdf)
- Beachwatch Monitoring
Development and Environmental Health Group, Ph: 02 6686 1210.