What is an Estuary?
Estuaries are semi-enclosed waterbodies with open (or intermittently open) connections with the ocean (1)
. They are the tidal portion of a waterbody, and the area where freshwater draining from the catchment mixes with ocean waters (2)
The Hunter Estuary
The Hunter Estuary is the tidal portion of the Hunter River. The estuary extends up to the tidal limit of the Hunter River at Oakhampton (65km from the ocean), the Paterson River at Gostwyck (75km from the ocean), and the Williams River at the Seaham Weir (46km from the ocean).
The Hunter Estuary is one of the most complex estuaries in NSW to manage because it is subject to a range of pressures from mining, agriculture, industry and urbanisation, but is also home to internationally important shorebirds and wetlands.
A number of significant conservation sites are found within the Hunter Estuary, including the Hunter Wetlands National Park
, Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project
and Hunter Wetlands Centre