Water and Our Harbour

In This Section

Protecting our amazing harbour

Keeping our waterways clean and beautiful is everyone’s responsibility. We can all make a difference. The best thing we can do is ensure the water draining from our land into the harbour is as clean as possible.

kids at beach

What are we doing?

Installing and maintaining pollution capture devices

Our specialised equipment and structures capture litter and filter pollutants found in stormwater and local creeks. Most of this essential technology is invisible. It's out of sight, hidden beneath our footpaths, parks and roads.

Crews regularly check these devices and clear their contents. Last year we removed about 500 tonnes of litter and plant matter before it polluted the harbour.

clearing a gross pollutant trap

Cleaning our streets, parks and beaches

Our waste, parks and bush regeneration teams regularly pick up litter left in our parks, beaches and streets. We clean our beaches every day. You’ll see our sweeping tractors working when tides allow. At other times, our team members collect waste by hand.

Specially designed systems, including rainwater gardens, are natural filters to trap finer pollutants in stormwater.

Plants in raingarden

Supporting Volunteers

Local volunteers play an important role in removing litter from our beaches. Rose Bay Beach and Watsons Bay Beach are two of our most popular beaches for volunteers to clean up.

Volunteers cleaning up beach

Get involved

Here are the top 3 things you can do to keep our harbour beautiful:

  • At home do all you can to ensure only rain goes down the drain. Keep leaves out of gutters and wash your car on the grass. Dispose of chemicals and paints at local drop off events.
  • When you’re out and about always pick up your dog’s poo. Make sure you put your rubbish and cigarette butts in the bin.
  • Join one of the amazing community groups dedicated to keeping our harbour clean. Check out Splash without the Trash or Take 3 for the Sea.

More information

Upcoming events

  • Drawing of habitat

    Join our Backyard Habitat Workshop series for practical tips, inspiration and free plants to help you create a native garden that both you and local wildlife can enjoy.

    Wednesday 4 October 2023, 6:00pm-7:30pm ()

    Online and in local backyards.

  • New Holland Honeyeater

    Join local birding guide Renée Ferster Levy for a morning walk spotting birds in the beautiful surrounds of Nielsen Park.

    Sunday 22 October 2023, 7:30am-9:30am ()

    Nielsen Park, Steele Point Road & Vaucluse Road, Vaucluse