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Towra is fragile and continues to be threatened by human environmental impacts


Erosion along sections of Towra Beach (below) has been greatly accelerated by changes in wave energy in Botany Bay due to dredging. Between 20 and 30 metres of beach has been eroded in the vicinity of the photo. Solutions suggested to address the problem include offshore breakwalls and sand nourishment. Towra Lagoon has become brackish due to seawater


The terrestrial vegetation at Towra has been subjected to clearing and burning for agricultural and grazing purposes since the mid 1860s. This has led to extensive invasion by weeds (e.g. lantana and bitou bush). African boxthorn (below) is a significant weed in the Reserve.


Studies have been undertaken to best solution to beach erosion at Towra Beach

Recreational Horse Riding

The main impacts of horseriding are trampling and disturbance of soil and vegetation, and the spread of weeds. Horses, along with dogs, are also a major source of disturbance to birds. The proximity of horse stables (below), near the entrance to the Reserve poses a major management problem.


Towra Beach has become a popular recreational area for the boating public. Unfortunately, boat chains, anchors and jet skis cause damage to seagrasses and disturb wading birds.

Feral Animals

Towra Point Nature Reserve has a problem with feral animals such as foxes. These pose a threat not only to the Little Tern breeding sites, but also to all other fauna in the Reserve. Because of the dynamic nature of the sandspits, the best Little Tern breeding site at Spit Island may eventually connect with the mainland of Towra Point which will make the control of foxes there difficult


Volunteer bush regeneration has been undertaken in the reserve since 1996

Fragmentation of the Reserve

Not all of the Towra Peninsula is owned nor managed by NPWS as a Nature Reserve. Breen's Consolidated Developments own a significant area on the northern side of the causeway. These and other private lands are represented by the yellow areas on the map.
The disjointed land ownership creates problems when horses and trail bike riders gain easy access to the Nature Reserve and other areas of high conservation significance through non-NPWS land. Some of these areas are owned by the Crown and managed by other agencies such as NSW Dept. of Land and Water Conservation


NPWS are involved with relevant landholders and agencies as to options for managing thier land

Bay development

Seagrasses have been lost from much of Botany Bay due to development and erosion. Recent erosion has been attributed to dredging in Botany Bay. Dredging for Port Botany, for the oil wharf at Kurnell and for shipping channels has contributed most to the erosion at Towra Point. Dredging for construction of the Third Runway at Sydney Airport (below) has contributed to erosion particularly on the western shores of the Bay
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