The Darwin Harbour Region is home to more than half of the Territory's population. The Harbour and its waterways are of social, economic, environmental and cultural importance for local communities, governments and industries. It is around 7 times larger than Sydney Harbour and is mostly lined with mangrove forest, providing a rich habitat for a diversity of marine life. The Harbour also supports the Territory's largest concentration of commerce and industry. Continued growth of the city and rural areas will place the Harbour under increasing pressure .
Each year the Northern Territory Government produces Darwin Harbour Region Report Cards which provide a snapshot of water quality and the health of aquatic ecosystems across the Harbour and its catchment.
The Water Quality Protection Plan for Darwin Harbour is one element of a broader coordinated approach to Darwin Harbour management, monitoring and research.
The Darwin Harbour Strategy is a guide for the responsible stewardship and sustainable development of the Darwin Harbour region. The Strategy's purpose is to provide policy and decision makers within government, industry , commerce and the community with guidance for the integrated management of the Darwin Harbour region's diverse environmental, social, cultural and economic values and uses.
The catchment area covers 3227 square kilometres (land and water) with the land area occupying 2417 square kilometres of these. It extends from Charles Point to Gunn Point including estuarine areas, tributaries and catchment areas of Cox Peninsula, Woods inlet, West Arm, Middle Arm, Eat Arm and the Howard River including Port Darwin and Shoal bay. Darwin Harbour is relatively shallow at about 50m in the deepest areas, with a considerable area becoming shallow and drying at low tide. Tidal movement reaches a considerable 8m.
Darwin Harbour publications provide for further reading.
Indigenous Marine Ranger Program - Commencing in October 2013, the Darwin Harbour Indigenous Marine Ranger Program is an innovative monitoring and research training program involving close collaboration between the Department of Land Resource Management and Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation. Funding was provided to the Department to establish and implement the program as an offset for the Darwin Harbour East Arm Wharf expansion. The program has developed into a successful collaboration between the Department, Larrakia Nation and other project partners to achieve broader social and environmental benefits through engaging and enhancing indigenous capacity at an individual and organisational level in marine ecosystem monitoring.
2014 Annual Report (pdf 2.65MB)