The Community Environment Network (CEN) was formed in 1997 with the mission of supporting and advising local environmental and community groups and individuals across the Central Coast. We are non-political and not-for-profit.

CEN is an independent community group that works FOR Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) and AGAINST threats to it. Our objectives are to:

  •      Increase the effectiveness of community groups
  •      Be a regional voice for sustainable development
  •      Provide a respected forum for public discussion and advocacy
  •      Increase public awareness and understanding of ESD
  •      Promote community monitoring of the environment
  •      Facilitate the advocacy role of individuals

The Community Environment Network (CEN) is a not-for-profit community organisation and a Deductible Gift Recipient with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). We work to improve Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) on the Central Coast. Projects include:

Waterwatch – a citizen science program monitoring and protecting the health of local waterways and catchments.

Land for Wildlife – a voluntary property registration scheme for landowners who wish to manage areas for biodiversity and wildlife habitat.

Habitat for Wildlife – supporting urban landholders to conserve and improve habitats for wildlife and create wildlife corridors.

Green Team Landcare Groups – local landholders working together to help eliminate weeds.

Wildplant Community Nursery – local native plants grown from seeds (collected locally) at the nursery to be used in revegetation projects and available for sale to the public.

We help community groups to campaign to protect the local environment and we have active sub-committees including Friends of COSS, Climate Future and the Central Coast Community Better Planning Group.


CEN is located on the Ourimbah Campus of the University of Newcastle. Previously located in The Manor, one of the campus's original farm houses, we can now be found in the Facilities Management Building on Loop Road. This new location has given CEN an expanded space for our popular Wildplant Nursery.

We have retained many of the sustainable features in our new building including:

  • Recycled building - courtesy of Newcastle University
  • Energy Audit and Low Energy, CFC Free Fridge - sponsored by Energy Australia
  • Water tanks for gardens and rinsing Waterwatch Equipment - sponsored by Australian Government Water Grant;
  • Computer screens having low energy requirements - paid for by CEN.
  • Security Bike Rack to encourage use of bicycles - Sponsored by Federal Government


View Larger Map

The Community Environment Network (CEN) is an alliance of community and environment groups from the NSW Central Coast and Lake Macquarie.  

CEN regularly posts jobs and volunteer opportunities that are available in the Central Coast and Macquarie Lakes regions.

The CEN is a non-government community group that works for Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) and against threats to it.

The Aims and Objectives of the CEN include the following:

  • To increase the effectiveness of community groups by networking and facilitating efforts to achieve ESD.
  • To be a significant regional voice on the Central Coast with respect to the environment.
  • To provide a forum for public discussion and education about the environment.
  • To increase public awareness and understanding through awareness, education and promotion of ESD and how it may be achieved.
  • To promote community monitoring of the environment and action to achieve ESD.
  • To facilitate the empowerment of individuals and to encourage them to take an active and positive role in enhancing their environment.

Join the Community Environment Network and help create a more sustainable Central Coast

Membership of the CEN is open to both individuals and like-minded groups across the region.

Join CEN and join a community of like-minded people actively caring for nature. Enjoy many opportunities to participate and benefit from being a CEN member:

Workshops and outdoor activities including tree planting, breakfast with the birds, cultural walks and talks, catchment crawls, kayak tours

Forums and networking including CEN’s annual forum and other events with expert presenters

Knowledge and advice from our highly qualified and experienced team on the environment, planning, development and how to run a community campaign.

CEN’s annual membership structure is tailored to meet your needs, interests and level of commitment.



Individual (voting rights, access to all CEN activities, newsletter, Wildplant nursery discount) = $30/year

Pension/concession/student = $20/year

Gold* = $30 annual + donation of over  $100

Group (for community and environmental groups and schools) = $50

Life Membership* $600

*Conditions applying to Gold, Life and Honorary membership available upon application

For all membership options and to join up…


header waterways

The oceans, lakes, rivers and creeks of the Central Coast and Lake Macquarie are an integral part of our region's identity. The health of these waterways is important for the wellbeing of our community and the native wildlife, including hundreds of species of birds and fish, that call them home.
The Community Environment Network works to protect our waterways through projects that focus on wetlands, lagoons and the ocean marine environment.


greengolden bell frog litoria aureaOur waterways and bushland contain many wonderful native species. There are tiny seahorses in our lakes, platypus in our streams and koalas, southern brown bandicoot, and spotted-tailed quoll in our bushland. Not to mention to the large variety of birds and fish in and around the lakes and ocean.

Many of them also share our urban areas, such as blue tongue lizard behind the back shed or a kookaburra on the telephone pole out front. These animals are what make our home on the Central Coast and Lake Macquarie so special.

The protection of habitat is possibly the best thing we can do for our native species and the Community Environment Network has projects aimed at conserving natural areas and creating wildlife corridors.

Projects include:

lfw-logo-240Land for Wildlife

The Land for Wildlife (LFW) program is a voluntary property registration scheme for landowners who wish to manage areas for biodiversity and wildlife habitat. LFW encourages and assists landholders to include nature conservation along with other land management objectives. The program is free for landholders to join and is not legally binding. Registration in the scheme will not change the legal status of a property.

  • learn about the Land for Wildlife program in New South Wales - click here
  • submit an Expression of Interest On Line and Join the Club.- Available to rural property owners with more than 0.5 Ha of Bushland - click here

habitat vertical colourHabitat for Wildlife

Join the growing number of landholders that are looking after their land as habitat.

Any landholder can join Habitat for Wildlife, urban, rural, farm or lifestyle block. Show you care about our wildlife by joining and providing some wildlife habitat on your land.

Urban areas can be very important habitats and by connecting isolated pockets of habitat wildlife corridors are formed. These are vital connections for many species of birds and animals, enabling them to move from one area to another. Click here for more information and to SIGN UP online

The Central Coast and Macquarie Lakes are home to bushland areas that are rich in biodiversity and natural beauty.


The Community Environment Network works to conserve our natural bushland areas and ensure that it is not lost amid the ever expanding urban development. Indeed, CEN believes we can have both - sustainable urban and social development that does not compromise the bush that makes our region so special.

Some of the projects that CEN is involved in to protect our bushland are: 


CEN Bush Regeneration Team

CEN has been conducting professional Bush Regeneration Services for over 16 years.

The CEN Bush Regeneration Team members are fully trained and experienced in native bush regeneration. Our Bush Regeneration Team supervisor and our team members are all qualified with a minmum six months field experience. All team members carry a Green Card and have first aid training.

All work is assessed and planned prior to commencement and Rehabilitation Plans are provided. Management Plans for ongoing maintenance are also available for sites.

The team has a reliable, fully equipped vehicle for work in the Central Coast and Lake Macquarie areas.

CEN Bush Regen Team
PO Box 149
Ourimbah 2258

For more information phone 4349 4756 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Business-graphicBusiness can play a very important role in the sustainable development of our community. This can happen in obvious ways such as the many businesses that install water tanks or solar panels. But all businesses - big and small - can have an impact in the way they carry out their day to day operations such as transportation, paper use, and energy or water consumption.

Today's consumer is also a lot more environmentally aware and expects businesses to enact practical measures that save our natural resources and limit waste.

Sustainable Business Network

The Community Environment Network started the Sustainable Business Network as a way for businesses to educate themselves and the public about best environment business practise. It is also an excellent resource for the public to inform their purchasing decisions.

Sustainable Business Directory

To see a list of  Central Coast businesses that offer sustainable products and services and are assisting with sustainable jobs growth on the Central Coast of New South Wales, click on this link  Sustainable Business Directory

These are some of the issues that the CEN is currently working on in the following areas:

CEN has three Planning Committees one for each of the local government areas of Gosford, Wyong and Lake Macquarie.The committees respond to planning proposals particularly the larger ones and formulate submissions to the relevant council with the aim of ensuring the proposed development is in accord with the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development. They consult with the Environmental Defenders Office when necessary.The planning committees generally meet monthly and communicate regularly via email.

Peat island arial

Peat Island: Gateway to the Hawkesbury

Join our campaign to keep Peat Island and its surrounds in community hands for future generations.

Submissions on the latest proposal are due on 20 December, 2021

pdfDownload the Submission from Hornsby Council 447.83 KB  raising their concerns

 pdfDownload our submission guide here377.81 KB

Click here to use our online submission form

In September 2021, the situation is as follows:

The latest Peat Island Planning Proposal is now on Public Exhibition

According to the NSW Government, the proposal aims to "open Peat Island to the public, while also revitalising Mooney Mooney with new housing, community facilities and job opportunities".

The NSW Government proposal claims the following key features:

  • Nearly 270 new houses at Mooney Mooney,
  • Retention of nine historical buildings on the island, and four on the mainland,
  • New retail and café or restaurant opportunities,
  • Approximately 9.65 hectares of open space, including opportunities for walking and cycling tracks, parklands and recreational facilities,
  • Retention of the chapel and surrounding land for community use, and
  • 10.4 hectares of bushland dedicated as a conservation area.

At first glance this is an improvement on previous proposals but there is a BETTER VISION for this iconic site.

For the past 12 months CEN has been championing the formation of the Dyarubbin Peat Island Lands Association (DPIA), an incorporated, not-for-profit community-driven movement to transform Peat Island and lands west of the M1 into the nationally and globally significant location it deserves to be.

We are now working with the Lower Hawkesbury River communities to campaign for a BETTER VISION for Peat Island Lands - a vision that incorporates culture, heritage, history, environment and community. Our vision has all the positives of the planning proposal with none of the negatives and will guarantee Peat Island's preservation as a public asset for future generations.

  • Read more about the DPIA's BETTER VISION here
  • Sign up (see Friends of Peat Island on the right of this page) to receive updates about the new Association, including assistance with making a submission in response to the latest planning proposal and for more information about our a BETTER VISION.
  • Follow the campaign on facebook

Read on below to find out how long CEN has been actively working to protect and enhance Peat Island from privatisation and  over-development.

Save Peat Island

Original Peat Island 4945834-3x2-700x467Rabbit Island 1900


Peat Island was originally established as a hospital for mental health patients. It has been closed for 5 years and the land is now being considered for other uses.

CEN supports:

  • Aesthetic of the Hawkesbury Valley to be maintained;
  • Public Use and Access Improved.

For Example:
The western area should be for day-trippers to stay at (picnic, walks, etc. places to buy food and for large numbers to move through, on to the river and the National Parks. There would be opportunity for basic waterfront camping and heritage buildings would hold displays on National Parks, Hospital and Tourism.”


Climate Future 


Climate Future now has its own web site


All the content here can be found on the above site, including links to our facebook groups.


The situation is dire - we have delayed for more than 30 years.

ACTION:  "immediate, rapid and large-scale cuts in emissions"

SOLUTIONS: Detailed in our Community Plan 2021 - written for the Central Caost:

     Renewable Energy

     Electric vehicles (charged from renewables)

     Increased energy efficiency

     Decreased consumption and waste

     New renewable energy industry for jobs - a just transition

Do what you can yourself, talk to our political leaders, write letters, call them. We need leadership now, not more delay.

 To stay in touch and receive announcements, Like our Facebook page:         https://www.facebook.com/climatefuturecentralcoast/

To discuss the issues or get active - Join our Facebook discussion group:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClimateFuture



Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or
Phone CEN on +61 2 4349 4756 


fairview4 webThe Importance of Heritage

 The significance that we attach to our ‘heritage’ is growing each year. The past is all around us - historic buildings, landscapes and other physical survivals of our past. Our heritage is fundamental to how we see ourselves as individuals, communities and as a nation. Historic buildings can become a focus of community identity and pride and create a sense of local unity.


Issues relating to the protection of wildlife and natural habitat.

This website assists all community members, whether scientist, student or interested residents with their queries about water issues on the Central Coast. Its goal is to help community members to better understand water issues and to join those making 'wise use ' of water.

  • Develop a better understanding of local and regional water issues
  • Explain water related terminology
  • Forming an educated opinion about local water issues
  • Find useful links to relevant authorities or additional information
  • De-mystify some of the 'foggy' issues in relation to water recycling and desalination plants
  • Participate actively in water saving and recycling
  • Attempt to represent the water discussion from a sustainable developmental point-of-view.

Water restriction information

If you want to find up-to-date information on water restriction or you have specific questions, go to the Central Coast Love water use it wisely website or call the Central Coast Council call centre on 1300 463 954.

Funding for the CEN water portal provided by the Myer Foundation.

Clean fresh water is one of our most valuable assets. It is essential for sustaining aquatic environmental, agriculture and human health. (Waterwatch Australia). Since the Central Coast draws drinking water mainly from rivers, it is vital to maintain a healthy river system.

CEN Networking nights are a gathering of members and other interested parties to meet and discuss current issues. The night provides a forum for people to make others aware of what they are doing and to meet other like minded groups and individuals.

The Central Coast Council has passed a motion to permanently protect Porters Creek wetland.

Read the newspaper report of the Mayor’s comments See: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2018/12/action-taken-to-protect-the-largest-fresh-water-wetland-on-the-central-coast/

For educational resources on the wetland see: http://www.blueplanet.nsw.edu.au/porters-creek-case-study/.aspx

LFW Landcare 2017 CoupleLFW encourages and assists landholders to include nature conservation along with other land management objectives. The program is free for landholders to join and is not legally binding. Registration in the scheme will not change the legal status of a property.

The Community Environment Network(CEN) facilitates and supports Land For Wildlife in New South Wales in partnership with interested local organisations. CEN holds a licence from Land for Wildlife to co-ordinate the program and use the Trademark in NSW. The licence requires CEN to adhere to a number of protocols to ensure the standards of LFW are consistent across Australia.

CEN provides statewide coordination and the framework for Land for Wildlife. This includes:

  • Provision of signs, newsletters and information about wildlife and management for conservation
  • Program support
  • Maintenance of records and data.

Regional delivery of Land for Wildlife may be carried out by non-government organisations, community groups, Catchment Management Authorities or local councils who form a partnership with CEN. Regional coordination includes:

  • Site assessments
  • Advice on suggested management strategies and actions for the property
  • Support and encouragement for landholders to carry out nature conservation on their land.

Regional organizations co-ordinating Land for Wildlife receive CEN support in the form of training, advice and information and support for funding applications and registration of all properties assessed.

All information provided by landholders is confidential to the landholder, Regional provider and CEN.

Need more information?  Download the LFW Brochure  

NarelleCEN LFW Project OfficerNarelle The co-ordination and regional delivery of the Land for Wildlife (LFW) scheme in New South Wales is coordinated by CEN. CEN became NSW State Coordinators in 2008 in an agreement with LFW Victoria and since then have been working with many organizations to expand Land for Wildlife. A partnership exists between CEN and The Biodiversity Conservation Trust.

LFW commenced in Victoria where it has been in operation since November 1981. The scheme arose as a result of regular 'core group' meetings held between the then Fisheries and Wildlife Service and the Bird Observers Club of Australia. Since 1997, the scheme has extended to other states and operates under a common set of principles and standards contained in the 'Arrangement to Co-ordinate Land for Wildlife schemes 2000'

The value of LFW is as a non-statutory registration scheme for landholders who wish to manage conservation values on their property. For many landholders, LFW provides a non-threatening, entry level option that meets their current needs, and helps build receptive communities. In time, this may lead to more binding statutory conservation commitments as landholders become familiar with the benefits of involvement. Local experience suggests that many private landholders would not take a first step towards conservation if such an entry level program were not available.

Coordination Role

CEN’s role as a state coordinator will include the following:

  • Promote LFW through local partner organisations (“LFW Regional Providers”)
  • Enter into Third Party Agreements with LFW Regional Providers
  • Provide training and development to staff from LFW providers
  • Provide and manage a central registration and information database for LFW members
  • Coordinate the delivery of LFW signs to LFW providers (to then be delivered to LFW members)
  • Provide a state wide newsletter and website pages for LFW members and providers
  • Monitor and report on efforts and achievements of the LFW program in NSW

Conservation partnerships

CEN will partner with other organisations such as BCT, GER and Environment Victoria to promote connectivity conservation:

  • Provide opportunities to promote LFW in the Conservation Partners Program newsletter Bush Matters
  • Encourage cross promotion of non-statutory and statutory conservation options for landholders
  • Provide advice and assistance to ensure a consistent and coordinated approach to programs
  • Arrange for reports on efforts and achievements of LFW to be recognised and communicated

Click here to read the latest Bush Matters Newsletter or for more information on the Conservation Partners Program go to http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/cpp/ConservationPartners.htm

Join the growing number of landholders that are looking after their land as habitat.

Land For Wildlife is an entry level program and Regional Providers act as a conduit for landholders with support from CEN through exchange of information.

The program is free for landholders to join and is not legally binding. Registration in the scheme will not change the legal status of a property.

How to join

If your property is located in an area with a Regional Provider (Click Regional Providers to find your local LFW group) contact them and let them know you are interested in the program. If your property is located on the Central Coast or in an area which does not have a Regional Provider, and you are interested in the program, use one of the options below.

Option 1

register-online Click here and fill out an Expression of interest online

Option 2

Download and then print the following PDF Expression of Interest form. Complete the form then post or fax it back to CEN.

General Expression of Interest Form(PDF 182Kb)  

Option 3

Download the following MS Word Expression of Interest form, complete it electronically, and then send back to CEN as an email attachment.

General Expression of Interest(DOC 104Kb) 

After submitting your Expression of Interest Form you may wish to fill in the  LFW Preparing for Property Assessment Checklist(PDF 54.2Kb) and send it to us :

LFW State Coordinator
Community Environment Network
PO Box 149
Ourimbah NSW 2258

Ph:   02 4349 4759
Fax: 02 4349 4755
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


If the Land for Wildlife Program is not suitable then check out our Habitat for Wildlife program for all landowners - with NO FUSS easy online sign up and still a great range of benefits

club newLand for Wildlife was established in 2002 on the Central Coast of New South Wales, operating within the local government areas of Gosford City Council, Wyong Shire Council, and Lake Macquarie City Council and due to the popularity and benefits of the program has extended services to Cessnock City Council area. This program, aims to support the maintenance and enhancement of native biodiversity on private land. Through this program landholder are given information of wildlife and habitat and are provided with a Land for Wildlife sign to display on their gate.  

 Since its inception Land for Wildlife in the Central Coast and Lower Hunter has been very successful and achieved a number of positive outcomes including:

  • over 250 properties registered and assessed during which landholders received advice on sustainable land management practices;
  • nearly 3000 Ha of land registered with the program;
  • over 2,000 Ha of natural bush retained as habitat
  • 9 schools registered, conserving 14 ha of bushland and providing a unique education tool for teachers;

Due to the proximity, CEN has been able to offer support in the form of:

Workshops involved a range of different topics being covered and members advised of workshops conducted by other groups

Bush Regeneration Team
 A 4 person Bush Regeneration Team has been able to support landholders and landholders have worked alongside the teamin order to develope skills in bush regeneration techniques and plant identification.

bush flowerRegional Seedbank
The development of the regional seed bank and Wildplant Community Nursey endeavors to supply local provenance floral species to provide landholders with a good quality supply of local provenance seed. Maintaining local provenance species plays an integral role in preserving the diversity of local native floral species.

Access to the seed bank is currently limited to Land for Wildlife members who have an interest in revegetation / restoration of native vegetation on their property with local provenance seed. Landholders are required to attend one of the seed propagation workshops to show a level of commitment to propagating their free seed. Seed has been made available to landholders based on their catchment and the species collected from within that catchment, seed provenance is tracked using the Greening Australia seed supply system. Landholders have taken up this offer and are propagating their own seed for revegetation purposes. Many of the landholders assisted the seed collectors on their property and learnt skills that will enable them to collect and propagate their own seed in the future.

If you would like to be part of Land for Wildlife on the Central Coast of Lower Hunter click here to download the Central Coast and Hunter Expression of Interest Form(PDF 183Kb) and post it to CEN 


Central Coast & Lower Hunter Regional Coordinator
Community Environment Network
PO Box 149
NSW 2258

Ph:   02 43 494754
Fax: 02 4349 4755
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LFW Landcare 2017Land for Wildlife is free to join and not legally binding.
Registration in the scheme is confidential and will not change the legal status of the property.

LFW supports landholders who want information about wildlife management on their property and provides opportunities for landholders to share their experiences with other landholders and partner organisations, through:

  • A free  property assessment and information about wildlife manaagement
  • information about the role of wildlife and native vegetation in sustainable agriculture to control pest species, provide shade and shelter, manage salinity and control wind and water erosion
  • annual newsletters
  • links and contacts with like-minded people
  • a LFW sign and membership certificate once the property is registered with the scheme.

Benefits to Landholders:

  • Membership to a nationwide program
  • Free individual consultation on land management issues
  • Site report including advice on managing environmental issues such as; erosion, wildlife habitat and weed control techniques
  • Access to education programs and activities such as workshops
  • Information on how to collect and grow native plants
  • Assistance in applying for grant funding.

If your question is not answered in these pages look at our frequently asked questions(PDF 96Kb) sheet.

CEN is a network of individuals, community and environment groups from across the region – our annual forum is an opportunity for as many individuals and groups as possible to join us.

  • hear about current activities from local groups
  • help identify key issues going forward
  • share stories of wins and losses for the community
  • contribute your ideas about how to win for nature
  • meet others that care about creating a sustainable region

We are also inviting EOIs for information stalls - If you would like to set up a stall – click here to submit a stallholder application

The Community Environment Network runs a number of its own projects and campaigns but it is also a resource for individuals and organisations on the Central Coast.

We will continue to update our online resources and provide advice and material support to other environmental causes.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have questions or suggestions about resources for environmental projects and campaigning.

(See the links on the left hand menu to browse all available online resources)

Several thousand climate scientists throughout the world have been researching the global warming issue since the 1980s. They have produced detailed reports on the scientific evidence and reasons for concern about global warming. These findings have been accepted by an overwhelming majority of climate experts and other scientists throughout the world.

However, some scientists, business people and politicians are sceptical that global warming is a threat to humanity and question whether humans have contributed to it. Some scepticism is based on scientific reasoning, some is due to misunderstandings about climate science, and some is driven by self interest.

Natural Connections

Natural Connections is a quarterly newsletter full of information on Land for Wildlife and Habitat for Wildlife. 

  • Environmental Weed Profiles - a guide to identifying environmental weeds in your local Central Coast area. Click here to view the weed profiles.
  • Brisbane Water - Local Area Catchment Study - Check out the great range of activities and tasks for Stages 4/5 science by clicking here
  • Oyster Industry Slideshow - view our slide show that tells about the Oyster Industry in Brisbane Waters. The slideshow was produced in 2002. Click here to begin
  • Wyrrabalong National Park - This booklet aims to promote the optimum method of conserving for the future, a splendid piece of coastline on the Central Coast,  It sets out the resources and human values which the proposed park contains, and explains the processes which led to the park proposal. Click here to download booklet (1,444kb)
  • Proposal to: Rehabilitate The Entrance to Bateau Bay "Stepping Stone" Wildlife Corridor.
    Click here to download Proposal (PDF 2.94Mb)
  • Water - The Big Picture. Economics of Water Tanks Report presented at Community Water Forum 12 August 2006. Click here to view (146kb)
  • Using local knowledge to Conduct a Quantitative Assessment of Groundwater Levels for the Kulnura-Mangrove Mountain Aquifer. Author – Richard Case. On behalf of the Community Environment Network (CEN).
    click here to download(PDF 4.4Mb)
  • Blueprint for Regional Landcare (Central Coast & Lake Macquarie) 2006. click here to download(PDF 4.32Mb)
  • Sustainable Campus Report. - The report on sustainability of the University of Newcastle's Central Coast campus at Ourimbah. Click here (1.18MB)
  • November 2007 Networking Night - copy of a presentation on climate change by Richard Weller (CPEng, MIEAust)
    click here to view(PDF 3.6Mb) presentation graphics. (3.614MB)
  • Recovery Plan for the Bush Stone-curlew - This document is the formal New South Wales Recovery Plan for the Bush Stone-curlew Burhinus grallarius and, as such, considers the conservation requirements of the species across its known range within New South Wales (NSW). It identifies actions to be taken to enhance the long-term viability of the species in the wild and the parties responsible for carrying out these actions over the next 5 years.
    click here to download(PDF 1.02Mb)

Business graphicSustainable businesses aim to meet present market needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This project aims to identify and promote sustainable industries for the Central Coast, aiming for sustainable job creation and business growth.

Sustainable Industries are: 

  • Non-polluting
  • Energy efficient
  • Safe and healthful for workers, communities and consumers
  • Socially and creatively rewarding
  • Economically rewarding 
  • Waste avoiding
  • Considerate of environmental and social costs 
  • Open to change 
  • Producing long-term, recyclable products


About the project

In 2006 the CEN was successful in obtaining funding through the NSW Environmental Trust for a project "Community Rehabilitation of Gosford Coastal Lagoons". The project seeks to adopt a strategic and "whole system" approach to the rehabilitation of riparian areas of the four coastal lagoons in Gosford LGA.

The project is working with the community and stakeholders including Gosford Council and the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority (HCRCMA) to develop and implement priority actions over two years.

The project coordinator carries out the following activities:

  • walk the foreshores of the lagoons and working with landowners / stakeholders to identify rehabilitation activities and priorities 
  • identify priority zones for actions
  • coordinate rehabilitation activities
  • recruit volunteers to participate in the project
  • carry out education / awareness raising activities and
  • monitoring of change during the project including pre / post environmental monitoring and community surveys.

Background to the project

The site(s) of the project will be the foreshore areas of the 4 coastal lagoons in Gosford; these being Wamberal Lagoon, Terrigal Lagoon , Avoca Lagoon and Cockrone Lagoon .

These lagoons have all been identified as modified (to varying degrees) in the Independent Inquiry into Coastal Lakes (Healthy Rivers Commission, 2002).

Gosford Council monitoring of water quality also shows the the lagoons often fail to meet target scores. This is confirmed by community Waterwatch monitoring.

The Gosford Council Coastal Lagoons Management Plan (1995) identifies issues including loss of vegetation, water quality, acid sulphate soils, recreational usage and habitat values. The artificial opening of the lagoons also has an impact on the ecological health of the lagoons. The lagoons are located in popular coastal suburbs that are under pressure of increased urbanisation. "Doing nothing" will result in further degradation of the riparian areas, water quality and ecological functioning of the lagoons. The management of the lagoons requires a strategic approach based on priority areas, involvement of the local community and landholders and increased community awareness, education, monitoring and valuing of the lagoons.

Find out more about the project:   


waterw8.jpgCEN is involved in a number of different projects aimed at improving the environment of the Central Coast.

Click on one of the project names in the menu to learn more about work that CEN is doing.

The Community Environment Network (CEN) is proud to offer the services of a professional Bush Regeneration Team. CEN has been conducting professional Bush Regeneration Services since 2009.

CEN’s Bush Regeneration team has extensive experience in rehabilitating ecosystems including wet and dry sclerophyll forests, rainforest, wetlands, coastal dunes and heathlands. Many of ecosystems that CEN maintains are listed endangered ecological communities including River-flat Eucalypt Forest, Swamp Sclerophyll Forest, Freshwater Wetlands, Littoral Rainforests and Themeda grasslands on seacliffs and coastal headlands.

The CEN Bush Regeneration supervisor and our team members are all fully qualified in Conservation and Land Management, with a minimum of 12 months field experience. All team members carry a White Card and have first aid training. The Team has a reliable, fully equipped vehicle for work in the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and Cessnock local government areas (LGA’s).

We currently offer a range of discounts to landholders who are involved in property registration programs such as Land for Wildlife in the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and Cessnock LGA’s.

CEN’s services includes:Bush Regeneration

  • Providing a professional qualified Bush Regeneration team
  • Weed eradication by following correct bush regeneration techniques
  • Noxious weed identification and control
  • Site evaluations and recommendation
  • Erosion and sediment control
  • Threatened species identification
  • Seed collection and propagation at CEN’s Wildplant Community Nursery
  • Local provenance plant installation and maintenance
  • Supervising volunteers
  • Training landholders in weed control techniques and plant identification

All work is assessed and planned prior to commencement and Rehabilitation Plans are provided. Management Plans for ongoing maintenance are also available for sites.

Enquiries: For any enquiries about works or job availabilities please phone CEN’s Bush Regeneration Coordinator on 4349 4754

habitat vertical colour

Any landholder can join Habitat for Wildlife, urban, rural, farm or lifestyle block. Show you care about our wildlife by joining and providing some wildlife habitat on your land.

Urban areas can be very important habitats and by connecting isolated pockets of habitat wildlife corridors are formed. These are vital connections for many species of birds and animals, enabling them to move from one area to another.

Become a part in restoring our urban landscapes - both the beauty and health of our environment. Make our landscapes a habitat not only for humans but also the wildlife that we want to connect with.

The project offers urban landholders information and support to conserve and improve habitats for wildlife. We aim to bring neighbours together in protecting their own backyards, local reserves and parks. There are no meetings to attend. Whether you own or rent a house, unit or flat you can do something for our native birds and wildlife: simply providing some water for them to planting your whole area with suitable native plants. Put up your sign and tell your friends and neighbours.

For more information:

Ph: 02 4349 4756
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Post:  Habitat for Wildlife PO Box 149 Ourimbah 2258

hfw kit

Benefits of the program:

  • Information about wildlife friendly gardens
  • Membership Certificate
  • Natural Connections folder packed with information about improving your garden for native wildlife and birds
  • Information on the Great Eastern Ranges Initative and how you can help
  • A sign to put on your gate or fence to tell your friends and neighbours that you are a Habitat for Wildlife member. They might like to join too.

Anywhere in NSW you can REGISTER ONLINE

Or if you are in the Central Coast LGA you can download a docHabitat for Wildlife Membership Form (Word) or pdfHabitat for Wildlife Membership Form (PDF) and send it to us via fax or email.

Habitat for Wildlife

  • Register On Line - Show your support, receive a sign and kit. Available to rural and residential property owners with any size property.- click here
  • Habitat for Wildlife in Gosford, Wyong, Lake Macquarie - click here

Stepping Stones Corridor - The Entrance to Bateau Bay

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The Stepping Stones Corridor Project is a partnership project providing a wildlife corridor across public lands in Wyong Shire. The partners include; Community Environment Network (CEN), Bateau Bay Bushcare , Wyong Council , Hunter Central Rivers CMA with support from the NSW Environmental Trust .


Help monitor water quality on the Central Coastabout 3

Waterwatch is a national program involving school and community groups in monitoring water quality of their local waterways.

Waterwatch involves people in the community helping to improve the health of our waterways. There are many ways you can get involved. Dive in to see how you can do your bit individually, or as a group, for healthy waterways and a better environment.

On the Central Coast, Waterwatch is funded through the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority with sponsorship from the Gosford Wyong Joint Water Authority.

In Gosford and Wyong local government areas CEN employs a Waterwatch Project Officer. In Lake Macquarie local government area Colin Mondy and Ingrid Berthold are the Waterwatch coordinators based at the CMA offices at Paterson.

For more information please contact Samantha Willis on Tel: 02 4349 4757 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


These are some of the projects completed by CEN

Search the Wetlands Database Wetlands are beautiful natural areas which are covered with water for some period of time. They are vitally important habitats for the health of our environment and support a wide variety of native plant and animal species.

wetlands.jpgWetland Education Project

CEN's Wetland Education Project seeks to raise public awareness of wetland habitats and increase community participation in wetland protection. The project focuses on wetlands on the Central Coast and in Lake Macquarie, and involves a targeted education program for three priority wetland sites.

This wetland website has been developed as part of the Wetland Education Project and can be accessed to find information on a particular wetland such as its size, ecological value, whether it contains endangered plants or animals, what threatens the wetland, its location, and how individuals can become involved in wetland care.

To find out more about a wetland near you, use the Wetlands Search Tool .


Send us your Wetland Photo's
If you have a photograph taken in a wetland which is listed on CEN’s website and you would like to have it included on the website, please email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. along with information such as the wetland name, when the photo was taken, who took it and a brief description of where it was taken from.(Please note that we can only accept .jpg files)

If you have new and/or additional information about a wetland you know,
download the updating_wetland_info_form.pdf, fill in all the details
and then either fax or mail the form to:

Community Environment Network
PO Box 149 OURIMBAH NSW 2258
Fax: 4349 4755

A small population of Bush Stone-curlew Burhinus grallarius, has etched out a living around the Brisbane Water, on the Central Coast of NSW, for decades. There remain possibly only 15 to 20 individuals living around the foreshore in the grassy layer beneath the trees, and even on the streets. It is hoped that with direct action, monitoring and partnerships with passionate stakeholders, that we can help this small population remain viable into the long term.

The Friends of the Bush Stone-curlew, is a passionate group of volunteers who have been actively monitoring the BSc populaton for over ten years.

What do we love about this bird?

It's quirky, in fact fascinating to watch, particularly at breeding season when it's courtship dance would stop any passerby in its tracks. Its haunting night-time call is perhaps a reminder that all is well in nature. All who connect with these birds find them charismatic, amusing and, well, life just wouldn't be the same without them! Not just all this but that these birds are a natural part of the Brisbane Water ecosystem means they have an intrinsic value just being thereBSC CROPPED.

Volunteers are invited to participate in bi-annual surveys around the Brisbane Water to help the group estimate the number of individual birds in the population.

To learn about the Bush Stone-curlew Recovery Plan download Recovery Plan 

keg drawPromoting sustainable living on the Central Coast.

The Eco Garden is a learning place to demonstrate organic and water wise gardening, creating habitat for local flora and fauna; utilising composting, worm-farming, energy and water conservation techniques.

The garden is in an on-going state of development. The garden is located next to Kariong Progress Hall in Dandaloo St, Kariong. Our thanks to Gosford City Council for their support and permission to use this site.

The Kariong Eco Garden is hosted by the Community Environment Network.

Find us on FacebookFind us on Facebook or at  www.kariongecogarden.org.au

Where is this Eco Garden?

Dandaloo Street, Kariong (corner Woy Woy Road), adjacent to the rear tennis court.

CEN- WildWatch Project

Wildwatch is about connecting kids with nature by exploring our environment and monitoring our flora and fauna. The program provides knowledge and understanding of local flora and fauna and encourages respect and caring for our local environment.

Wildwatch is an opportunity for children and families to engage in a program that promotes a love of nature and provides opportunities to observe nature and grow in knowledge, skills and understanding. We run events such as bird watching, frog spotting and waterbug surveys to connect families and communities with the diverse environments on the Central Coast. CEN collaborates with experts from university, council, primary industries, ecologists and wildlife carers so families can experience these different habitats and learn about them at the same time.

habitat vertical colourThe Habitat for Wildlife Program has been running at the Community Environment Network since 2007. Habitat for Wildlife is a program which encourages urban landholders to create and maintain habitat for urban wildlife in their gardens. Community participants engaged through Wildwatch are supported as members of HFW by volunteers within CEN and will be invited to future workshops and events run by other CEN projects.

The Wildwatch program is FREE TO JOIN and includes:

  • A certificate for each child that joins Wildwatch
  • Stickers and Wildwatch wildlife card
  • A regular kid friendly newsletter
  • Invitations and support to participate in Wildwatch events throughout the year (4-6 events).

For more information Download a Registration Form, or EMAIL US

Bateau Bay Swift Parrot Habitat Restoration  Project

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Swift Parrots have been recorded feeding in Swamp Mahogany Eucalyptus robusta in the area surrounding Bateau Bay for over 40 years. Swamp Mahogany is a known habitat for Swiftys and other threatened species who are dependent on this winter food source. Swamp Mahogany are found in small patches on the Central Coast including along Salt Water Creek at Bateau Bay. 

This project aims to restore a wildlife corridor of the Stepping Stones Landcare site, located on the eastern edge of the EDSACC recreational facility over a three year period. The plan is to restore Swift Parrot Lathamus discolour habitat by reducing weeds and revegetating areas with over 2000 plants.

Our Community Environment Network (CEN) Youth is a cross section of Youth aged between 16- 30 with concerns around issues such as deforestation, equity for those impacted, plant-based food and farming, renewable energy and social justice.

“Youth are the people who will be most affected by Climate Change, yet there are few opportunities to be involved in solutions, action and events."

Join the Team

The Wildplant Community Nursery was established in 2009 by the Central Coast Wildplant Rescue Service and the Community Environment Network.


It has long been the hope of CEN to be able to provide access to the flora of the  IMG20220107120923 2 Central Coast Region to its members and to the public.   

Our purpose is to promote and grow local provenance, native plants, to the public, to our members, and for use in our many projects.

Habitat for Wildlife - members will be able to access local native plants to compliment their gardens and provide a habitat for our local wildlife as well as sustaining the coasts ecology.

Land for Wildlife - members can take advantage of the nursery to grow natives from seeds collected from their properties which can then be replanted on their land for reforestation purposes.   

Bush Regeneration - projects undertaken by the CEN team will be  IMG20220107120952 2  able to access the nursery to grow seeds collected from   areas under their care to use in the revegetation of these areas.

Central Coast Wildplants Rescue Service – members and volunteers require nursery facilities to care for and grow plant   material collected from development sites under their care.

Community Groups – the nursery is also available for community and Bushcare/ Landcare groups to use the facilities at the nursery for their various projects with prior arrangement.

The nursery is complimented by our Regional Seedbank, collecting seed from our various projects and storing them for future use.  



Contact details

CALL 02 4349 4756

PO Box 149 Ourimbah NSW 2258

FM Building, Central Coast Campus,
University of Newcastle,
Loop Road, Ourimbah,
NSW, 2258