Shaws Bay

The majority of actions identified in the Shaws Bay Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) have now been successfully completed. These works have included dredging to improve tidal flushing and water quality, beach nourishment and the creation of sandy beaches, expansion and rectification work on rock groynes on the eastern arm to mitigate erosion, construction of a boardwalk and a salt marsh basin, rehabilitation of vegetation and creation of protected vegetated areas, educational signage, improved car parking, installation of access ramps, showers, seating, picnic tables and shelters. 
Some of these actions are described further below.

Action 1: Improvements to the East Arm foreshore

Completed May 2018
Objective Improve water quality, recreational amenity and access from the reserves to the bay.
Funding $650,000
$140,913 funded by the NSW Dept of Planning and Environment (DPE) Coastal and Estuary Grants Program, $104,500 funded by DPE Crown Lands Public Reserves Management Fund, and the balance by Council

Works were carried out to improve the function, amenity and safety of the foreshore with new paths, shelters, seating and landscaping. Improvements to rock groyne structures were also carried out to mitigate erosion and assist in the creation of sandy beaches. As a result of these works, eroding banks were stabilised and access to the bay was improved. Sandy beaches have been created and important marine and terrestrial vegetation have been protected with restricted access in some areas.

Action 2: Dredging and Foreshore Improvements

Completed early 2021
Objective Reduce infilling and improve water circulation and water quality in the bay, and enhance access and connectivity for the community
Funding $915,874
equally funded by NSW Dept of Planning and Environment Coastal and Estuary Grants Program, and Council.

The project involved the following works:

  • Dredging – Two areas in the main section of Shaws Bay have been dredged to reduce siltation, maintain deep water, improve tidal circulation and improve water quality.
  • Sand processing – Dredged material was pumped to a temporary processing site at the northern end of Pop Denison Park. Processing involved screening the sand to remove shells, large organic matter and other debris. This sand was then pumped through a hydro-cyclone to remove silt and fine organic material to produce clean sand. 
  • Beach improvement – After processing the dredged material, the clean sand was used to ‘top up’ existing beaches and address areas of bank erosion. 
  • Ecological enhancement/Saltmarsh basin – The northern area of Shaws Bay was identified in the CZMP as an ecological protection zone to balance impacts associated with other amenity improvements. Some of the northern area of the Bay was managed to create a saltmarsh basin to provide an ideal habitat for a large range of estuarine species. 
  • Amenity and connectivity – A boardwalk was constructed in the northern area of Shaws Bay over the constructed saltmarsh basin to allow community access and environmental values to coexist.

Action 3 & 4: Improvements to the Western Foreshore

Completed May 2018

Objective Enhance the safety and recreational amenity of the foreshore and improve stormwater systems
Funding $380,000 funded by Ballina Shire Council

Users of the western foreshore can now enjoy improved parking, access ramp into the water, showers, shared-path, seating and picnic shelters. Stormwater systems have also been realigned to improve treatment.

Action 5: Expand Pop Denison Park

Completed early 2021
Objective Enhance ecological value, foreshore access and recreational amenity of the park
Funding $350,000 funded by Ballina Shire Council

Council aims to continue to develop management plans and projects to ensure the cultural, environmental and recreational values of Shaws Bay are enhanced and protected into the future. One of the ways to achieve this is the development of a new Coastal Management Program (CMP) for the Shaws Bay area. This will involve transitioning the previous CZMP into a CZMP through the five-stage process of the NSW Coastal Management Framework. Council has applied for funding under the NSW State Government’s Coastal and Estuary Grants Program to commence stage one of the process to complete a scoping study in early 2023.



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The General Manager
Ballina Shire Council
PO Box 450
Ballina NSW 2478

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Ballina NSW 2478


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