Community events celebrate healthy waterways

Bulahdelah Plain Wetland.
Bulahdelah Plain Wetland.

MidCoast Council is applauding the efforts of its community partners and agencies involved in looking after our waterways following the release of the Waterways and Catchment Report Card today Saturday, November 10.

The MidCoast Report Card presents results from right across the region stretching from the Manning River Estuary in the north, south to the Karuah Estuary, with results from 14 locations.

Revealing the results to the MidCoast community at a free community breakfast in Bulahdelah, Dr Peter Scanes from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) said "almost all sites on the Mid Coast maintained or improved their grade this year, with two sites improving on last year’s result, and three dropping a grade".

Dr Scanes leads an independent team of scientists who assess the health of the waterways each year.

He explained that the report card helps compare the current conditions with the condition we would like them to be. The sites are graded from A-F and compared to other locations across NSW.

Mid-Wallamba estuary (B) and Wallis Lake (A) improved their grade this year. The sites at Khappinghat (B), Coolongolook (C) and Myall Lake (B) dropped a grade - although scientists say this is to be expected due to natural variability within the environment.

“Small changes in condition are to be expected in natural systems, increased or decreased rainfall over the sampling period can impact on the grade, particularly when the scores are close to the boundaries between two grades,” Dr Scanes said.

Remaining sites across the Mid Coast have maintained their grades from 2017, including the Manning catchment.

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"The waterways are a critical part of the MidCoast region underpinning the local economy and highly valued by our community,” MidCoast Council mayor David West said.

“This holistic approach to monitoring, and working towards, improved waterway and catchment health is an essential part of our work. It is a credit to the communities within our region that we've been able partner together to achieve great outcomes for our waterways." 

This year, to involve and celebrate the waterways report card results with the community, council is hosting a series of free “Explore with an Expert” events over the next few weeks.

They include free wetland walks, a tour of a constructed urban wetland in Forster, and evening talk on Forster’s squirrel glider population and hands on clean-up at Browns Creek at Taree. 

"It’s a great opportunity for the community to see for themselves some of the work that's being done to improve waterway health," Mayor West said.

"These projects in our wetlands and urban areas are great examples of the innovative partnerships between Council, State and Federal government as well as private business and landholders, and are made possible by the Environmental Special Rate."

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