Freshwater catchments across the region have recorded the best results since measurements began with the first Healthy Waterways report card 10 years ago.
The 2011 Healthy Waterways report card, launched today at Murrumba Downs Sewage Treatment Plant, shows the Sunshine Coast freshwater catchments have all improved since last year.
Despite the floods, the estuarine and bay systems also provided better than expected results, with a significant improvement in the Pumicestone Passage after a disappointing grade in 2010.
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Environment Portfolio Councillor Keryn Jones said that the Sunshine Coast recently took out one of the world’s most prestigious awards, the Australian National Riverprize.
“The award recognised the partnerships between council and the community, and in particular the consistent and dedicated effort to improve the health of our region’s waterways,” Cr Jones said.
“Personally I’m a bit surprised after all the rain we’ve had, but delighted at the improvement in all of our freshwater catchments and while it is disappointing to see the drop in the Maroochy Estuary, we will investigate the cause for the decline and respond accordingly – we have a strong track record in this regard.”
“Council is continuing to invest in the implementation of the endorsed Waterways and Coastal Management Strategy, which provides a clear direction for waterways management in each catchment area. It seems that the actions are working.”
Environment Policy Manager Dr Stephen Skull said council is also working with other local governments across south east Queensland and the state government to secure significant short term and long term funding for the future management of our waterways.
“The report card results show that we’re on the right track and certainly reinforce the need to continue the good work already underway, including managing erosion, stabilising creek channels, rehabilitation of riverbank areas and investing in good agricultural practices.”