Washpool Lagoon – juggling coastal restoration and community expectations

Mr  Tony  Flaherty1, Mr  Damian Moroney1

1Green Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia


The Washpool Lagoon at Aldinga Beach is one of few remaining coastal freshwater and estuarine lagoon systems along the Adelaide metropolitan coast. The area is of spiritual and cultural significance to the Kaurna People and wider Aboriginal community. It provides open space for the local community and includes a seasonally inundated water body that provides valuable waterbird habitat, including listed migratory shorebirds. It is adjacent to a significant remnant coastal woodland Conservation Park. Although a relatively small parcel of land, the site is under several land parcels owned by the State Government bodies and local council. The Kaurna people have been recognised as native title holders for lands around Adelaide. In the 1980’s, a marina proposal galvanised community action to conserve the Washpool and seek its incorporation into a greater conservation zone. Thirty 30 years after a ‘community victory’ to prevent the marina development, coordinated restoration of the site has been difficult to achieve. More recently, Green Adelaide have sought to coordinate restoration. A comprehensive five year re-vegetation plan is being implemented in collaboration with council. An independent Kaurna Cultural Heritage Field Survey and consultation was also undertaken to inform re-vegetation works, and seek Kaurna guidance on restoration priorities. This presentation will outline challenges in undertaking coastal restoration across multiple land tenures agencies and many stakeholders.


Tony Flaherty, Team Leader, Coast and Seas, Green Adelaide. In his role, Tony works with a small team to undertake marine and coastal conservation works across the Adelaide region. The team also facilitates community awareness, monitoring and wildlife conservation projects. Tony previously worked as the South Australian and national coordinator for the Marine and Coastal Community Network.