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Wise Use

Towra Point Nature Reserve is managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and surrounded by an Aquatic Reserve managed by NSW Fisheries


In 1982, areas of Towra Point were consolidated to form Towra Point Nature Reserve. This Nature Reserve is managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The Reserve was primarily established for nature conservation especially of wetlands and migratory birds.

Plan of Management

A Management Plan for the Reserve was prepared by NPWS in 1989. The 1989 Plan is now outdated due to changes in the environment, management and impacts of adjacent land uses. In 1999 a review of the plan was undertaken and a new Draft Plan of Management was prepared and you can find out more in Latest News.

Access limitations

NPWS have placed restrictions on access in order to reduce the impact of people on the natural systems. A permit is required before entering the Nature Reserve. Dogs and horses are not permitted in the Nature Reserve because of their impact on native animals and plants. Permits - required Permits are available from NPWS at Kurnell.

Education and Research

As well as nature conservation, the Reserve provides opportunities for environmental education and scientific research. A number of institutions are undertaking research at Towra Point including Sydney University, UNSW and Macquarie University. A variety of students regularly visit the Reserve including the TAFE students pictured.
Each year since 1991 the Botany Bay Field Studies Centre has taken students from Years 11 and 12 to Towra Point to complete a Field study which forms part of their study of a Fragile Ecosystem. Students gain an insight into and experience of the Biophysical nature of a wetland and are given information concerning its habitat, the ecology of the area, its importance as habitat for migratory birds and as a nesting site for Little Tern.

They are able to view and measure the impact of development around the Bay on the landform of the point and form some understanding of the complexity of managing an urban wetland.

This study forms a component of the students work towards their Higher School Certificates.

For more information and contact details for the Field Studies Centre visit the Interactive Page and TOWRA-Net Forum.

Aquatic Reserve

The Towra Point Aquatic Reserve is managed by NSW Fisheries. The establishment of an Aquatic Reserve was designed to protect the highly significant marine habitats that surround the Nature Reserve (e.g. seagrasses) by placing restrictions on fishing and prohibiting bait gathering. More than 200 fish species have been recorded in the Aquatic Reserve. This diversity can be attributed to the abundance of different habitats, particularly for juvenile fish.
NSW Fisheries have defined two distinct management zones within Towra Point Aquatic Reserve. These two zones, seen on the map, are the Sanctuary Zone, and the Refuge Zone. The Sanctuary Zone is for observation only. Disturbing, interfering with vegetation or removing fish is not allowed in this zone. In the Refuge Zone some fishing is allowed.
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