The Challenge

SYDNEY HARBOUR

The iconic Sydney Harbour is one of the most beautiful and diverse harbours in the world however has been enormously degraded in the 250 years since the first European settlement.

The harbour has been impacted by centuries of foreshore urbanisation including large scale construction of artificial structures such as seawalls, marinas and jetties.

To further accommodate for the urban and industrial growth of the city, dredging activities to deepen the Harbour’s channels and reclamation techniques to increase the foreshore developments, dramatically altered the harbour’s shoreline while completely removing any habitats that dominated these areas.

Urbanisation and industrial developments at the foreshore of the Harbour also impacted the harbour’s water quality, with decades of stormwater run-off, overflow and discharge of industrial waste running directly into the Harbour waterways up until the late 1970s.

By then, the harbour’s water quality was low and the degradation of marine habitats and biodiversity was apparent with common blackwater events and numerous fish appearing dead at the Harbour’s foreshores.

Since the 1980s, as our society became increasingly aware of the negative impacts that these activities had on the Harbour’s fragile ecosystems, regulations were improved to prevent further degradation of the harbour’s waterways and marine ecosystems.

Since then, water quality has gradually improved and while some threats remain, life is recovering within Sydney Harbour.

Project Restore aims to address some of these issues and conduct multi-habitat restoration in an urbanised harbour environment.

Explore this site to find out how we aim to address the challenge.