Botany Bay and its catchment (including Towra Point Nature Reserve Ramsar wetland)


On 21 September 2015, responsibility for water policy and resources was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Administrative Arrangement Order made on 21 September 2015.

This website will be updated to reflect these changes.

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About the catchment

The catchment of Botany Bay is approx 1165 km2 in area, bounded by the Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour catchments in the north, the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment in the west and the Hacking River catchment in the south.

The catchment extends from Prospect Reservoir in the north-west, and intersects with approx 25 local government areas including Fairfield, Liverpool, Campbelltown, Bankstown, Canterbury, Marrickville and Sutherland.

The low ridge between Port Hacking and Botany Bay forms the south-eastern boundary of the catchment.

The two main sub-catchments within Botany Bay catchment are the Georges River and the Cooks River.

Values to be protected

Botany Bay and its catchment are significant, being home to many endangered species and communities, Ramsar wetlands including Towra Point Nature Reserve, migratory species, recreational, water based activities and cultural heritage.

Ramsar site

Water quality issues

Botany Bay and its catchment waterways are subject to ongoing threats due to nutrient and sediment-laden run-off from various non-agricultural land uses. A substantial part of the catchment is highly developed with almost 40% of its area being used for urban, industrial or commercial purposes.

Pollutants of concern are nitrogen, phosphorus and total suspended solids.

Development pressure is contributing to degradation of bushland and recreational areas which is increasing sediment loads within the catchment.

Key water quality improvement projects

Key stakeholders / agencies

  • Sydney Metropolitan CMA
  • NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
  • NSW Office of Water