Waterways and catchments report card released

MidCoast Council's water quality and estuary management coordinator Prue Tucker with a copy of the report card.
MidCoast Council's water quality and estuary management coordinator Prue Tucker with a copy of the report card.

Most of the waterways in the MidCoast region are in good condition.

This is according to the first combined MidCoast Council waterways and catchment report card which was released on Tuesday, December 5.

The report presented results for the Manning River estuary, Khappinghat Creek, Wallis Lake, Smiths Lake and Myall Lakes following an assessment by a team of scientists.

The team is led by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s Dr Peter Scanes who was pleased with the results of each waterway.

“It’s a very good report card for the waterways of the MidCoast Council area,” Dr Scanes said.

"Most of the waterways are in good condition and it’s showing that the management from council is being effective.”

The team used a sample program to test each waterway. They measured the clarity of the water as well as algae growth to determine a grade. The sites are graded from A to F as a comparison to other sites across NSW.

Dr Peter Scanes discussed the results of the report card at the MidCoast Council Taree administration office. Photo: Supplied.

Dr Peter Scanes discussed the results of the report card at the MidCoast Council Taree administration office. Photo: Supplied.

The Manning River estuary maintained a B grade and is considered to be in good ecological condition as seagrass continued to grow over a wide depth range.

Excellent water clarity and low algal growth resulted in an A grade for the Khappinghat Creek.

Smiths Lake, Charlotte Bay and Myall Lake all recorded an A grade, while the Mid Wallamba estuary and Wallamba Cove were rated a C and B respectively.

‘”We are making some progress at Wallamba but but we’ve still got a way to go,” Dr Scanes said.

Pipers Creek stayed at B grade and central Wallis Lake dropped from A to B.

Dr Scanes added that the report attempts to ensure the community is informed about the conditions of the waterways as many rely on water quality for their livelihood. 

MidCoast Council's water quality and estuary management coordinator Prue Tucker said the annual assessment of local waterways is coherent with the council’s coastal catchments initiative in attempting to understand what key indicators can make an impact.