The Sydney Marine Park Alliance

We support the protection of Sydney’s incredible marine environment in a world-class marine park.

A Sydney Marine Park would help to preserve iconic species like the blue groper and weedy seadragon; it would support local businesses and recreational users like fishers and divers who rely on a healthy harbour and ocean; it would be an economic attraction to the Sydney region, encouraging tourism and enhancing Sydney’s wonderful coastal lifestyle. A marine park bordering one of the world’s great cities would be recognised globally and be something for all of NSW to be proud of.

The marine environment between Newcastle and Shellharbour, including its rivers and estuaries, Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay, are a recognised gap in the NSW network of marine parks.

The NSW Government’s 2012 Independent Scientific Audit of Marine Parks  recommended the current system of marine parks in NSW be maintained and mechanisms be found to extend protections to this area known as the Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion. In 2015 the Government established the Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion Assessment to consider how to enhance marine biodiversity in the region – this assessment process is due to conclude in 2016.

A Sydney Marine Park with a network of marine sanctuaries can fulfil the audit’s recommendation and achieve the assessment’s objective.

Less than 7% of NSW waters are protected as marine sanctuaries, yet no formal sanctuaries exist in the Sydney region. The scientific community has long supported a comprehensive, adequate and representative marine park for the region. A Sydney Marine Park will ensure the management of our coastal waters is coordinated and our valuable marine and coastal assets are protected for the future.

Studies have consistently shown huge public support for marine parks and marine sanctuaries with near 90% of those surveyed, including those who fish, supporting marine sanctuaries.

Marine parks have been shown to create economic opportunities for local businesses. They become important local attractions widely promoted by local tourism bodies and referenced in real estate advertisements. Living along-side a marine park and close to a marine sanctuary has become highly sought after.

A Sydney Marine Park makes sense for the local marine environment, has strong public support and will enhance recreational and business opportunities across the Sydney coastline.

We are calling on the NSW Government to:

  • Commit to the establishment of a Sydney Marine Park, based on science, including a network of marine sanctuaries that are comprehensive, adequate and representative to be implemented by 2018.
  • Engage in detailed community consultation to ensure the design of a Sydney Marine Park has the support of local communities and all users while ensuring the conservation of marine biodiversity.

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.