Wash and riverbank erosion and management
Learn what causes wash and riverbank erosion, the strategies NSW is trialling and how you can find out more.
Causes of riverbank erosion
Riverbank erosion management is a crucial issue for the health and stability of all river systems.
Riverbank erosion can be caused by:
- high wash boating activities
- water regulation
- changes to vegetation
- stock access
- wind waves
- resource extraction
- sea level rise (coastal rivers) and natural environmental changes.
In 2013, five major NSW waterways were identified as impacted by high-wash boating activities that result in riverbank erosion.
What has been done about wash and riverbank erosion?
In October 2014, the NSW Boating Wash and Riverbank Erosion Management Strategy was announced.
Since then, Transport for NSW has continued to work closely with various agencies and the community to create and action a state-wide policy for managing boating related erosion issues.
For the key locations identified as having experienced significant riverbank erosion issues, Transport for NSW and its partners are developing waterway specific erosion management plans.
These locations include the Clarence River, Williams River and more recently the Shoalhaven River.
Erosion management strategies
The focus is on the development of local management actions.
These actions are created through a combination of scientific research and extensive community engagement and consultation.
Some examples currently being trialled in some of these areas include:
- communicating strategies to the boating community that detail the best practice techniques to minimise wash
- improving the understanding of NSW marine safety rules and regulations in the non-boating community through increasing communications and availability of educational material
- erosion mitigation works, such as physical bank stabilisation (rock and timber revetment, battering), riparian revegetation and bush regeneration, stock management (cattle grates, fencing and designated watering points)
- trial boating restrictions on certain wake enhancing activities
- ongoing monitoring and research.
The Centre for Maritime Safety has more information on the NSW Boating Wash and Riverbank Erosion Management Strategy.