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Coastal Management Webinar (Free!)
April 22 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pmFree
Join us for the Hunter Environmental Institute Coastal Management Webinar! We will hear from Associate Profession Troy Gaston about current issues around Kooragang and Tomago, and from Dr David Wainwright about Port Stephens flood tide delta and dynamics, with both of our speakers delving into the back barrier swale of Williamtown/Salt Ash and Tilligerry Creek and issues of low lying land and the impacts of historical drainage.
Please note that the link to join the HEI Coastal Management Webinar this Wednesday will be emailed to you on Wednesday morning, using the email address that you use to RSVP to the event with.
Habitat repair in the Hunter estuary
With growing understanding of ecosystem functioning and the impacts of their loss on human and environmental welfare, restoration and conservation of healthy ecosystems has become a global priority. Estuaries are one of the most human-effected systems that would normally support numerous ecosystem services, including food and habitat, but also represent an important association for many commercial and recreational species. Penaeid shrimp represent an important group of valuable exploited species known to either directly utilise saltmarsh habitat or utilise saltmarsh-derived productivity. As such, both areal coverage and primary productivity of saltmarsh habitat has direct consequences for fisheries productivity, and they are likely to be key beneficiaries of habitat repair. Iron Bark Creek (Hexham Swamp) has undergone some repair and saltmarsh has begun to increase in areal extent. All areas of the wetland (except the area closest to the wetland mouth) support the full range of size classes of School Prawn (Metapenaeus macleayi) and multiple cohorts of prawns are moving through the system. The highest abundance supported was 1017 prawns per 100 m 2 and the average density across the wetland was 244 prawns per 100 m 2 . Saltmarsh contributes up to 28% of School Prawn diet, however, mangrove and fine benthic material were dominant. These results show that the recovering wetland is supporting a high abundance of School Prawn and that increases in fisheries productivity arise from habitat repair.
DR DAVID WAINWRIGHT
Dr David Wainwright has over 25 years’ experience as an engineer, including positions with state government, academia and many years consulting in coastal and environmental engineering. David’s key expertise includes risk assessment for planning in the face of coastal and flooding hazards under sea-level rise, coastal entrance analysis and management, sediment transport and morphodynamic modelling and the management of coastal lagoons. In 2015, David established Salients, providing services in natural water resource management with a focus on the coastal zone. David is presently a conjoint lecturer with the School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Newcastle and an Adjunct Research Fellow with the coastal engineering research group at the University of Queensland. He is regularly called upon to provide expert witness services in the Land and Environment Court. David has substantial experience with estuarine entrances within the Central Coast, Hunter and Mid North Coast regions of NSW, alongside experience both around Australia, and internationally. David was recently appointed to the NSW Government’s Tuggerah Lakes Expert Panel, has exhaustively studied Swansea Channel, the entrance to Port Stephens and the lower Hunter River.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR TROY GASTON
Troy took up a lecturing position at the University of Newcastle in 2012 (School of Environmental and Life Sciences) after spending 7 years at the National Centre for Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability at the University of Tasmania. Troy is currently a member of the Australian Marine Sciences Association NSW Branch Committee, Hunter Water Customer and Community Advisory Committee, Port Stephens and Great Lakes Marine Park Advisory Committee, Central Coast Council Terrigal Sub-Catchment Water Quality Committee. A/Prof Gaston has over 20 years experience in estuarine ecology and investigating ecosystem functioning. Degraded ecosystems are a global issue and targeting on-ground works for habitat and ecosystem repair will be paramount to ensure recovery of estuarine and coastal systems. As such, much of A/Prof Gaston’s work has been the use novel chemical tracers to determine the relative importance of different nutrient sources and habitats to ecosystem functioning. He has worked with a wide range of entities including local councils, state and commonwealth government, industry and NGO’s across NSW, Tasmania and Queensland.