How land use, since colonisation, has effected the ecosystems of Botany Bay and its rivers

Urbanisation results in rubbish in Botany Bay, Georges River

Botany Bay is one of Australia's best known and most often studied waterways, as well as one of our most highly urbanised waterways. Georges Riverkeeper have recently published a paper in Regional Studies in Marine Science titled 'A review of intensified land use effects on the ecosystems of Botany Bay and its rivers, Georges River and Cooks River, in southern Sydney, Australia'.

The paper brings together information from over 150 scientific publications. It provides an overview of the history of development of the Botany Bay catchment and the effects of that development on local waterways.

It shows that whilst there has been improved control of some types of pollution, stormwater continues to carry diffuse pollutants to waterways and there are legacy pollutants bound to sediments.

The paper also shows that intensified land use has been associated with the loss of commercial fisheries, but many of the values of local waterways remain and are appreciated by the local community. It points out that our understanding of the detrimental effects of our actions and how to rehabilitate ecosystems has improved over time.

This knowledge can be used to implement appropriate management of waterways, particularly as development of the Botany Bay catchment is ongoing. The paper concludes that the future of local waterways will depend upon ongoing trade-offs between diverse and conflicting uses.

To obtain a copy of the paper, please contact us.

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