Noosa River & Lakes

The Noosa River is a relatively unmodified river system with particularly high environmental and scenic values. It is under constant pressure from human activity including construction, boat traffic, recreational pursuits, tourism, fishing and dredging.

NPA is committed to seeing significant recovery of the marine habitat and abundance and diversity of marine life in the Noosa River and Lakes system and in Laguna Bay.

As a first step, NPA marshalled the necessary support and resources to commission an expert team of marine scientists to address the question: “To what extent can aquatic biodiversity and fish abundance be recovered in the  Noosa River and Lakes system and Laguna Bay?”  The expert workshop was run in October 2014 by internationally recognised group The Nature Conservancy in conjunction with local philanthropic organisation The Thomas Foundation.

The Noosa Estuary and Lakes Report was presented to Noosa Council  by Noosa Parks Association, The Nature Conservancy and The Thomas Foundation.  As a result, Noosa Council voted to support two priority scientific studies – oyster plate deployment and prawn/fish stock assessment.

Report 1 – Historical ecology of the Noosa Estuary fisheries

Report 2 – An Assessment of Oyster Recruitment

Subject to further findings, NPA will be encouraging the wider Noosa commuinity to join in progressing this project further.

Noosa Sediment Accumulation Study: a community–science collaboration

The problem

Recent scientific studies highlighted the problem of excess fine sediment in the estuary.

Sediment can smother important estuarine habitats, such as seagrass and shellfish beds. These habitats are essential places for baby prawns, fish and their food.

The breakdown of nutrients and decaying organic matter in the fine sediment can alter the benthic community, and also result in a lack of oxygen on the bottom, creating a dead zone.

Knowing how much fine sediment is in the system, and where it accumulates, helps target restoration campaigns, contributing to protecting and enhancing our unique and valuable estuarine ecosystems.

What are we doing?

Together with Ecological Service Professionals (ESP) and The Nature Conservancy, we are engaging with our community and working with scientists to find out how big this problem is.

We are measuring accumulation of sediment by deploying devices into the estuary and lakes. These devices collect sediment and we will be checking them and collecting them every 2-3 months.

Our science collaborators will use this information and help us calculate and map how much sediment is accumulating throughout the estuary.

We will use this information to target the most effective management and restoration responses in the areas that matter most to rebuild a resilient riverine ecosystem.

Join us on the water!

NPA members are welcome to join us on the water for some science in action.

Your work will directly contribute to understanding how our estuary works,
the pressures it faces now and inform restoration and protection measures to support a resilient ecosystem into the future.

If you would like to be involved, contact Bryan Walsh at NPA by emailing