Annual Sunshine Coast waterways health scores released

Pumicestone Passage

Results of the report card for Sunshine Coast waterways show there’s still a lot of work to do and partnerships with the community must be for the long term to maintain and improve the health of our river systems.
That’s the message from Sunshine Coast Council following today’s release of the Healthy Waterways Ecosystem Health Report Card at La Balsa Park. The annual report card ratings, ranked A to F, provide a snapshot of the ecological health of waterways across South East Queensland.
This year Maroochy estuary improved on its 2011 rating and Noosa and Mooloolah estuaries remained the same. Freshwater catchments, with the exception of the Pumicestone Catchment, recorded a decline in ratings which reflected an overall small decline in freshwater grades across SE Queensland.

  2011 2012   2011 2012
Freshwater Catchments



Estuarine and Marine    
Noosa Catchment A- B Noosa Estuary B+ B+
Maroochy Catchment B- C Maroochy Estuary D+ C-
Mooloolah Catchment B+ C Mooloolah Estuary B- B-
Pumicestone Catchment C+ C+ Pumicestone Passage C+ C-

Although efforts to improve waterway health are underway and will be ongoing, the results can take years.
Council’s Environment Portfolio Councillor Tony Wellington said council’s Waterways and Coastal Management Strategy 2011-2021 paves the way for managing the Coast’s waterways in close partnership with the community.
“Council is committed to improving water quality through careful planning, targeted projects and investing in partnerships,” he said.
“Partnerships with community groups are critical to the effective and ongoing management of our waterways. Environment Levy funds have been used to support community groups and landowners on projects that improve the quality of our waterways.
“The report card raises awareness of the condition of our waterways and helps us plan for the future.”
Council has worked with the community to implement the Mooloolah River riparian restoration program. More than 35,000 trees have been planted across 20 hectares of private and public property to help improve the river’s health by stabilising banks and providing shade and habitat.