Celebrating 10 years of monitoring waterway health


MIDCOAST Council has celebrated the tenth anniversary of its Waterway and Catchment Report Card, releasing the 2021 Report Card on Sunday 5 December on the banks of the Wallamba River.

“With over 1,900 water quality samples taken across our six major catchments we now have a greater understanding of the patterns, trends and cycles of our waterways,” said MidCoast Council’s Manager Natural Systems, Gerard Tuckerman.

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This year, eight sites improved their grade and 10 maintained their results from the previous year.

There was no site which decreased in grade.

High rainfall affected water quality across our region’s waterways as the environment began to recover from extended drought, bushfires and flooding conditions over previous years.

Dr Peter Scanes from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment heads up the independent team of scientists who assess the health of our waterways.

“As with previous years, the amount of runoff from the catchment influenced the Report grades at sites.

“The sampling period from November 2020 to April 2021 was wetter than average and results showed reduced water clarity and a corresponding decrease in algal growth at most sites,” said Dr Scanes.

“The Report Card results help us assess many Estuary and Catchment management projects that we undertake each year with our community and partners,” said Mr Tuckerman.

“Having 10 years of waterway health data is a major milestone for us.

“It provides us with a deeper understanding of our waterways and identifies actions for further improvements through our Catchment and Estuary programs.”

Over the last 10 years several successful water quality projects on the Wallamba River have been undertaken.

Bank stabilisation works, wetland rehabilitation, weed control and over 19,000 native plantings has resulted in water quality improvements at the site.

The Wallamba received a D grade in 2011 and this year has achieved a B grade for waterway health.

“The results at the Wallamba River show just how much can be achieved when we are working together across industry and agencies towards a common goal, it is something our community can be proud of,” added Mr Tuckerman.

To view the report card go to www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/reportcard.

Contact Council if you wish to receive a hard copy of this year’s Waterway and Catchment Report Card.

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