Pittwater Natural Resources
Wetlands are areas which are inundated by water less than six metres deep permanently, frequently, or for occasional prolonged periods. All around the world, wetlands have been seen as wastelands and have been drained and infilled to make way for developments.
The values of wetlands are now better understood. Wetlands provide important ecological services including flood mitigation, filtration of water-borne nutrients and food and habitat for many species including fish populations and waterfowl. There are several different wetland environments in Pittwater, including estuarine wetlands at Careel Bay and coastal floodplain wetlands at Warriewood.
Environmental stressors on wetland environments within Pittwater include entry of gross pollutants from stormwater overflows, weed infestation, vegetation and rubbish dumping. Council is responding by constructing gross pollutants traps, purchase of Warriewood Wetlands and public education programs.
Bushland provides many values within a community. It provides habitat and food for wildlife populations, acts as a reservoir for plant biodiversity with rare and threatened plant species often found only in small pockets of remnant bushland and is used by people for passive recreation including walking, birdwatching and enjoying wildflowers in spring.
Pittwater is extremely fortunate to have retained substantial areas of natural bushland within its boundaries. One quarter of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park is located within the Pittwater LGA, and Pittwater Council is responsible for management of 75 bushland reserves.
- Bushland Reserves
- Bush Regeneration
Narrabeen Lagoon is the largest remaining coastal lagoon in the Sydney region, and is an important recreational resource for a variety of water-based activities including wind-surfing, kayaking and fishing. The northern lakeshore of the lagoon forms the southern boundary of the Pittwater local government area. Environmental stressors on the lagoon system include stormwater pollution from urban areas, clearing of riparian vegetation and siltation from soil erosion in the catchment.
The Pittwater waterway is a drowned river valley with a surface area of 17.5 square kilometres. It is an important resource locally and regionally for recreational purposes such as sailing and fishing. The waterway also provides important estuarine and marine habitat types including mangroves, sea grasses and mud flats which support wildlife and fish populations. Environmental stressors on the waterway include stormwater pollution from urban areas, effluent and petrochemicals from boating and marine activity, oil spills, disturbance of contaminated sediments and clearing of riparian vegetation.
Rock Platforms and Beaches
The ocean coastline of Pittwater extends from Barrenjoey Headland in the north to the Narrabeen Lagoon entrance in the south, a distance of 18 kilometres. The coastline is comprised of 8 distinct embayments tied by rocky headlands and includes a total of 10 surf beaches.
At the base of the rocky headlands are rock platforms, fascinating areas which are revealed at low tide. There are 10 major rock platforms in the Pittwater Council area, four of which are gazetted under NSW Fisheries jurisdiction as Intertidal Protected Areas for biological and ecological reasons.
Environmental stressors on the rock platforns include collection and harvesting of intertidal organisms, and habitat destruction including overturning of boulders and trampling. Council is responding by putting up informative interpretive signs, participating in monitoring of species assemblages and public foraging behaviour with the Institute of Marine Ecology (Sydney University), training Council rangers to enforce Fisheries regulations, and providing the successful "Project Aware on the Rocks" public education program.