Improving water quality on the Karuah River and the Port Stephens estuary

Over Royce farm looking south.


A FREE field day is being held to showcase the impressive results of a joint project that is improving water quality on the Karuah River and the Port Stephens estuary.

Everyone’s welcome at a field day at The Branch, Karuah on Friday 21 May from 10am -1pm, kicking off with a walk on one of the participating properties followed by presentations by scientists involved in the project.

In 2020 eight farmers in The Branch undertook major works on their properties to protect wetlands and riparian vegetation while improving their water points, fencing and pasture.

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One of the farmers involved will be opening their property to showcase their project and the improvements.

“We’re going to have scientists along to talk about what this project has done for the farmer’s property, and how it’s starting to improve the wetlands and the river,” says Drew Morris, MidCoast Council’s Catchment Officer.

“There will be a free barbecue showcasing some of the great local food from the catchment and river.

“A healthy environment produces healthy food – all these things are linked.

“Healthy wetlands and native vegetation are essential for healthy rivers. Wetlands and vegetation corridors along riverbanks operate like the river’s kidneys, filtering out nutrients and sediment from the land, while also providing habitat for native species.

“Protecting the remaining wetlands and riparian corridors in The Branch is a key part of restoring the health of the Karuah River.”

The Karuah-Borland Landcare program is a partnership between local farmers, Midcoast Council, Hunter Local Land Services, Landcare Australia and Karuah Great Lakes Landcare.

Combining forces, the partnering agencies have contributed over $500,000 to this project which is being matched by eight landholders through their own labour and cash contributions, to protect these vital habitats on their properties.

Altogether, over 270 hectares of wetlands and 50 hectares of riparian vegetation have been secured along The Branch and Karuah Rivers.

Bookings are essential, please register via email to [email protected] or 0429 220 493 for catering purposes. Morning tea and lunch will be provided, but please bring your own chair, wear a hat and closed walking shoes.

This project is supported by the NSW Government’s Marine Estate Management Strategy.

For more information on the project, and to watch the video that showcases the on-farm actions, visit

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