Figure 1: Southern Catchments 2016/17 Report Card. Source: Healthy Land and Waters 2016/17 report card hlw.org.au/reportcard
The 2016/17 Healthy Land and Waterways Report card has been released, with waterways in the Southern catchments ranging from fair to good. The grades presented an overall decrease in waterways health in the southern region, in most part due to an increase in sediment loads.
The effects of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie were highlighted through increase sediment and pollutant loads coming from the upper catchments, stressing the importance of good streambank vegetation to reduce erosion and the amount of sediments entering our waterways. The report has also highlighted that in urban areas, the use of effective stormwater management will further increase the resilience of the region to extreme weather events.
Acknowledging the findings of the report card, the Gold Coast Waterways Authority are proactively exploring ways to maintain and enhance the condition of the Gold Coast waterways, including:
- Improve water quality through stabilising riparian areas upstream in the Tallebudgera, Currumbin, Nerang Coomera and Pimpama Rivers;
- Continuously developing our knowledge on the distribution, abundance and resilience of seagrass within Gold Coast Waterways including whole of system mapping;
- Sponsoring the installation of Tackler Bins to reduce the amount of marine debris found in Gold Coast Waterways;
- Ensuring all dredging activities are undertaken in a way that minimises the potential for environmental harm, including continuous water quality monitoring;
- Exploring innovative methods for beneficial use of dredge material and environmentally friendly moorings to enhance the resilience of the waterways; and
- Engaging with the community to maintain a current awareness of issues.