Centre for Maritime Safety


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Boating infrastructure and marine habitats in Sydney Harbour

A comprehensive study of boating infrastructure and marine habitats in Sydney Harbour.

Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), Roads and Maritime Services (NSW Maritime), The University of New South Wales (UNSW), and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) are collaborating on one of the largest studies of boating infrastructure and marine habitats undertaken in Sydney Harbour.

TfNSW is collaborating with UNSW and SIMS to examine how recreational boating facilities interact with marine ecosystems in Sydney Harbour. The studies are being supported by NSW Maritime who is providing on-water logistical support to researchers. Funding for the three year research project was secured through the Australian Research Council Linkage Program.

The research team has begun a series of studies to understand the plants, animals and natural processes that occur near boating storage facilities, including Sydney Harbour's extensive mooring fields and marinas.

Until now, a comprehensive study of the way boating infrastructure affects marine habitats and aquatic animals has not been undertaken. Understanding the impact boat storage infrastructure has on marine life and habitats is key to developing future boating infrastructure policies and standards.

In 2014, TfNSW released the Sydney Harbour Boat Storage Strategy. The strategy sets out several options for increasing the capacity of both on-water and off-water boat storage solutions to keep pace with demand which is expected to grow at around 2.9 per cent annually. The strategy identifies growth targets across the various boat storage types to cater for the projected additional 5,000 recreational vessels needed in Sydney Harbour by 2021.

TfNSW anticipates the research findings will provide an important evidence base to inform options for increasing boat storage capacity whilst minimising environmental impact.

UNSW Media Release March 2015 (pdf 306KB)