MidCoast Council Estuarine Habitat Assessment

Project outline

Niche Environment and Heritage was engaged by MidCoast Council to undertake an aquatic ecology assessment of estuarine habitat within the Slip Island Channel at Tea Gardens on the Myall River. The channel is currently under consideration for maintenance dredging works to clear sand bars and sediment accumulations that can restrict navigational use.

Our aquatic ecologists assessed aquatic vegetation, benthic fauna, and estuarine and marine birds

Our role

Niche’s estuarine ecologists assessed aquatic vegetation, benthic fauna, and estuarine and marine birds within the study area. Our team undertook habitat based assessments for fauna and mapped aquatic vegetation boundaries in detail using a combination of in-water observations by our experienced divers and sonar imaging of the estuarine seabed to detect seagrass structure in low and zero visibility conditions. This approach allowed for over 500 data points to be collected on sub-tidal habitat along a 500m stretch of the channel to aid the precision of detailed habitat mapping.

Challenges

The main challenge on this project was accurately mapping seagrasses in low and zero water visibility conditions.

Results

Niche provided MidCoast Council with a comprehensive aquatic ecology assessment that will allow for environmental constraints to be clearly identified and managed for this and future projects at the locality. Our estuarine ecology team also demonstrated that through combing technologies of visual observations with video and sonar based systems our team can map the most challenging estuarine habitats.

To meet our aquatic and estuarine ecology team click here and to find out more about Niche’s marine, coastal, estuarine and freshwater ecology services, click here or contact us.

Council ecological assessment NSW

Aquatic ecology consulting

Ecological consultants Sydney Central Coast