What does a Sydney Marine Park mean for you?

Our Coastal Lifestyle

What will a Sydney Marine Park mean for surfers?

Ever since legendary Duke Kahanamoku rode his first wave in Sydney, surfers have enjoyed the waves off our beaches and headlands. Surfing is both a sport and a natural experience, enhanced by clean, clear water and a healthy marine ecosystem.

A Sydney Marine Park will allow our marine life to recover, encouraging the return of iconic animals like dolphins, whales and turtles that were once abundant in our waters. Recovery of small, filter feeding invertebrates will improve water quality, as will restoration of our seagrass and kelp beds. Management plans will mean more focused resources to keep our waters free from pollution and enforce zonings that protect our unique marine life.

Marine Parks are already in place across NSW in great surfing locations like Byron Bay and Coffs Harbour – now it’s Sydney’s turn!

What will a Sydney Marine Park mean for fishers?

It is plain to see throughout New South Wales that fishing and conservation are going hand-in-hand in the marine parks we already have at Cape Byron, the Solitary Islands, Port Stephens-Great Lakes, Jervis Bay, Batemans Bay and out at Lord Howe Island.

Studies show that the great majority of local recreational fishers in NSW’s marine parks support the park including its sanctuary zones. Many thousands of Sydney anglers visit these locations every year for their excellent fishing – wouldn’t it be great to have similarly protected waters year-round at home?

Many of Australia’s most iconic and world-renowned fishing spots are also highly protected marine parks, like northern Queensland, the Ningaloo Reef and Jervis Bay, even with up to a full third protected from all fishing in sanctuaries.

Sanctuary zones in marine parks protect prime habitat from fishing pressures, effectively supporting bigger and healthier breeding fish. Furthermore, marine parks typically protect much wider areas from high impact commercial fishing methods such as netting and trawling, allowing recreational fishing to flourish for the long-term in these areas.

Surveys of NSW fishers have shown the great majority support marine parks and sanctuaries, and why wouldn’t they? Protecting our aquatic back yard makes a lot of common sense.

What will a Sydney Marine Park mean for swimmers

Swimming is not only great exercise; it’s relaxing and can be scenic too. When we swim in Sydney’s waters, we see more than the tiled bottom of a swimming pool. Swimming in beautiful locations like Cabbage Tree Bay or Clovelly pool brings the added beauty of waving fronds of kelp, schools of fish and quirky critters.

A Sydney Marine Park will increase the health, diversity and abundance of marine life in our waters. Swimmers will  benefit from seeing more fish, larger fish and a wider variety of fish species. Habitat protection will ensure that our beautiful kelp beds are preserved and will hopefully increase over time. Water will be cleaner and clearer as natural filters like seagrasses and invertebrates do their job, removing suspended sediments and converting plankton into useful food.

Most importantly, we will be swimming in an environment that we know is valued and preserved for all, including generations to come.

What will a Sydney Marine Park mean for SCUBA divers and snorkelers?

Putting on a mask and fins is a ticket to a whole new world under the waves. Divers and snorkelers see just how special Sydney’s iconic marine life is. We have historically recorded more fish species in Sydney than the entire coastline of the UK, yet many of these species are no longer found in our waters, and our marine environment is largely unprotected.

A Sydney Marine Park will allow the natural diversity and beauty of underwater Sydney to be restored. Sanctuary zones will remove current pressures to allow the balance of fish, invertebrates and seaweeds to return. Habitat protection zones will prove invaluable to the recovery of magical creatures like the weedy seadragon and eastern blue devil fish.

We’ll never know what underwater Sydney was like when the early explorers first entered Sydney Harbour in their tall ships, but with a Sydney Marine Park we stand a chance of seeing a return of a natural, balanced marine ecosystem.

What will a Sydney Marine Park mean for kayakers and boaters?

Boating on Sydney's waters can bring a sense of adventure, natural beauty, peace and tranquillity. Whether you enjoy sailing, motor cruising or kayaking, our complex network of sheltered bays, combined with extensive open waters, have something for everyone.

A Sydney Marine Park will enhance and protect these important social values. Healthy oceans, free from debris and with abundant marine life, are a large part of the enjoyment of boating. Marine Parks in NSW are zoned to allow recreational activities in the great majority of areas, and boating is a low-impact activity that can only be improved by a healthy marine environment.

Marine Parks bring more resources and better facilities such as moorings and access points to ensure that our unique habitats are protected and accessible for the boaters of today and tomorrow.


What will a Sydney Marine Park mean for nature watchers?

Sydney is one of Australia’s great natural landscapes. Tourism Australia has declared Sydney Harbour and coastal surrounds which includes the marine waters stretching from Pittwater to Royal National Park as the 16th Iconic National Landscape. Our harbour and waters are a drawcard for visitors from all over the world. Sydney’s clean, clear beaches, our bays and tidal pools and our unique marine life are valued by all who experience them.

A Sydney Marine Park can only enhance our natural values. Habitat and marine life protection will encourage more whales, penguins, seals, dolphins and turtles to our shores. Management and zoning arrangements can be designed to enhance the full suite of recreational pursuits from whale watching to kayaking and swimming. More tourism means more local business and a thriving local economy.

What will a Sydney Marine Park mean for beach users?

Sydney’s clean, sandy beaches are the envy of cities around the world. Whether you enjoy a game of beach volleyball, a splash in the waves or just relaxing in the sun, our beach culture is an essential part of living in Sydney.

A Sydney Marine Park will only enhance these natural values. Management plans and resources will allow  better protection of our beaches and waters. Special zones will provide a refuge for marine life to recover and the natural balance of marine ecosystems to be restored. Restoration of seagrasses and kelp beds will improve water clarity and reduce erosion.

We can’t imagine a Sydney without it’s beaches; a Sydney Marine Park will allow our coastal lifestyle to be protected for current and future generations.

All rights reserved National Parks Association of NSW Inc 2015

National Parks Association of NSW is a non-government conservation group that seeks to protect, connect and restore the integrity and diversity of natural systems in NSW and beyond, through national parks, marine sanctuaries and other means.