Community Mobilises to Improve Waterways

The results of the 2015 Healthy Waterways report card are in and it’s a win for the many community volunteers who have partnered with council to improve and protect the Moreton Bay Region’s waterways.

Moreton Bay Regional Council’s Deputy Mayor Mike Charlton said in 2015, the annual Healthy Waterways report card had evolved to recognise the efforts of community volunteers, as well as our waterway’s social and economic worth.

“For the first time, the Healthy Waterways report card captures a broader, holistic snapshot of our region’s waterways and takes into account the impact of the rehabilitation of creek, stream and river banks on water quality in our local catchments,” Cr Charlton said.

“There’s now a bigger focus on the influence of water quality on fish habitats, the overall health of systems and the recreational and economic benefits healthier waterways deliver to our community.”

The 2015 Healthy Waterways report card grades the health of catchments rather than individual rivers and estuaries.

Healthy Waterways’ changes to the assessment of water quality include the latest in research and modelling on a catchment wide basis, and as a result can’t be reliably compared with the report cards of previous years.

CEO of Healthy Waterways Julie McLellan said since the monitoring of South East Queensland’s waterways began in 2000, the focus had been to reduce point source pollution from runoff.

“Over these years, the amount of point source pollution in our waterways has improved, so we have expanded our monitoring to focus on the amount of sediment in our waterways, which is now the number one issue affecting water quality,” Ms McLellan said.

“This year’s report highlights the need to accelerate efforts to reduce sediment runoff in both rural and urban areas.”

Cr Charlton thanked the hundreds of community volunteers and landholders who had been involved in the planting and rehabilitation of creek, stream and river banks across the region’s catchments.

“The results suggest by working in partnership we’re making steady progress on improving the health of our waterways for future generations,” the Deputy Mayor said.

“But more work needs to be done to reduce sediment runoff and there’s a clear role for the building industry to play.

“Healthy Waterways’ new reporting criteria establishes a connection between the health of a catchment and the social and economic benefits our waterways deliver to the community.

“It makes a correlation with the percentage of community members involved in improving our waterways and the health of individual catchments.

“For example, 33 percent of the local community are involved in a range of activities to improve waterways in the Pumicestone Passage catchment, the health of which is graded as good together with the highest social and economic benefit rating in the region.

“Community ownership is the key to managing these important resources for the future because healthy waterways are everybody’s business.”

For the results summary from each of our catchments: 

https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/general.aspx?id=146221

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