WATER quality and sustainability are big issues in our region at present.
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Estuaries across the MidCoast region recently received grades from excellent to fair in the Waterway and Catchment Report Card this year with 15 of a total 18 sites scoring ‘A’ and ‘B’.
In many ways the community can help the Myall Coast enjoy better water quality.
It comes down to how we garden, what we discard and what we pick up.
Prue Tucker, MidCoast Council’s Water Quality and Estuary Management Program Coordinator told News Of The Area, “Everyone has a role to play in the health of our waterways and there are lots of things you can do to help.
“Pick up litter and pet waste so it doesn’t get washed down the drain.
“If you have creek or river frontage, fence out livestock and have off-stream watering.
“For all new developments Council’s Water Sensitive Design policy requires you to build a rain garden to slow and filter stormwater from your property,” she said.
Aaron Wright from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) is one of the independent team of scientists who assess the health of our waterways.
The report card helps us compare the current local conditions with the condition of other estuaries in NSW and also track how the estuaries are performing over time. It is pleasing to see that all but one of the MidCoast sites maintained or improved their grades from previous years,” said Mr Wright.
Scores improved on last year with just over half of the sites in Wallis and the Myall Lakes receiving top marks.
At some sites, algae increased as the dissolved nutrients in the system and abundant light provided suitable growing conditions.
Highest algal levels were recorded in The Branch and Mid-Wallamba estuary with moderate algal growth in the Karuah, Coolongolook and Manning River estuaries.
These results show a continued need for improved land management practices to reduce nutrients in our waterways.
The report card found that the lower Myall Estuary and Bombah Broadwater both increased to an A grade this year while the
Lower Myall Estuary maintained a B grade, with the Karuah River Estuary and The Branch Estuary maintained their C grades and remain in moderate ecological condition.
By Marian SAMPSON