Scott’s Point Living Shoreline

Name of case study

 Scott’s Point Living Shoreline

Location

New South Wales (NSW), Australia

Year

 2012

Scale

urban/landscape scale

Area / size

1km of coastline

NbS employed

Living shorelines

Type of NbS

Ecosystem protection

Initiator

NSW Government

Funder

 State government, Federal government

Budget

 $NZ245,500

Design group

Designs were developed by NSW Soil Conservation Service (Newcastle) in consultation with NSW Department of Primary Industries, Hunter Catchment Management Authority (Hunter CMA) and the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS).

Scott’s point (before implementing living shoreline NbS). Photo from: NSW Department of Primary Industries (Jenkins and Russell, 2017).
Climate change benefits
  • Coastal erosion / wave attenuation
  • Soil erosion
Societal / socio-cultural benefits
  • Biodiversity health and conservation
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Disaster risk reduction.
Ecological benefits
  • Disturbance prevention (erosion, storm damage, flooding etc.)
  • Purification (of water, soil, air)
  • Soil building
  • Habitat provision.

Summary of case study

The Hunter estuary in Australia was designated as a national Coastal Hotspot in 2008 due to its ecological significance. The sections of the lower estuary faced ongoing ecological decline, particularly due to riverbank erosion. It was assumed that factors such as anthropogenic activities (like boat wake, historical riparian clearing, and channel dredging), along with natural processes (such as floods, wind waves, runoff, soil type, and tidal effects), contributed to the erosion (Jenkins and Russell, 2017).

To address these issues, the Hunter Hotspots project focused on priority riverbank erosion sites, aiming to enhance riparian vegetation, stabilise banks, and raise community awareness and capacity for environmentally beneficial bank protection measures. The estuary provides essential ecological services like water quality improvement and habitat for fish and migratory birds.

A total of approximately 484 meters of full rock fillets were constructed along three main stretches of riverbank where significant erosion was happening, with little or no mangroves present. These fillets were 1 to 2 meters wide, 10 to 30 meters long, and placed within 30 centimetres of the mean high water mark. They were positioned 2 to 4 meters away from eroding banks on intertidal benches to allow space for future mangrove growth. An additional 127 meters had juvenile mangroves, but erosion was outpacing their growth, so low fillet protection rocks were added to shield the sediment at low tide.

Around areas like a maritime marker where incomplete rock revetment existed, extra work was done to ensure continuous protection. A 2.8-hectare area behind the rock fillets (covering a 1000-meter frontage) was planted with dense trees, shrubs, and ground cover plants, sourced locally from suppliers like Kooragang Landcare.

The project effectively managed bank erosion along a 1000-meter stretch of the Hunter River foreshore, receiving positive feedback from partners, stakeholders, and the community. Photopoints established along the affected area show mangrove growth behind the rock fillets on the stabilised intertidal bench, highlighting the success of riparian plantings (Jenkins and Russell, 2017).

Read More
Scott’s point (after implementing living shoreline NbS). Photo from: NSW Department of Primary Industries (Jenkins and Russell, 2017).
References
  • Jenkins, C., & Russell, K. (2017). Scott’s Point Rock Fillets–Fish Friendly Erosion Mitigation. NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Further resources:

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