Waterways Report Card 2017


Healthy waterways and catchments are vital systems that keep our local towns and communities thriving, and ensure a healthy and vibrant future.

So how do we know how our waterways are faring? Have things improved? Where do we need to do more work?

Every year, MidCoast Council teams with experts from the Office of Environment and Heritage to investigate our local waterways. The result is the MidCoast Waterway and Catchment Report Card.

The 2017 Report Card will be released on Tuesday, 5 December 2017.  You are invited to the launch! Results will be revealed at 9am in the Taree Council Chambers, followed by a relaxed and informative cruise on the Manning River Estuary. Scroll down to learn more and RSVP.

Watch out for the videos being launched here throughout November which feature our 'local legends' looking after our waterways - beef farmer Peter Longworth, dairy farmer Julian Biega and oyster farmer Ian Crisp.

Throughout the year, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage carries out independent scientific testing and analysis within our catchments and waterways to provide a score that is presented as a report card.  It is graded A-F, much like a school report card! The annual score can be compared to previous years and also to other estuaries within NSW. The report card is used to guide future management actions to ensure long-term ecological health of our catchments.

Watch here for the release of our videos highlighting the work of our local legends!  Beef farmer Peter Longworth, dairy farmer Julian Biega and oyster farmer Ian Crisp - are making positive changes to support their farm productivity and the water quality of our waterways.

Some of the work undertaken by individual community members - on their farms, on the rivers and lakes, and in our towns - is truly inspirational and we will be introducing you to their stories over the coming month, in the lead up to the release of the Report Card.

The partnerships we have with our 'local legends' who look after our waterways are very important - it's often their actions and efforts that contribute directly to the 'score' a waterway receives on the Report Card.

Beef farmer Peter Longworth shares with us the actions he takes on his farm to manage acid sulfate soils:

You are invited to come along to the launch of the 2017 Report Card at 9am on Tuesday 5 December at Council's Taree Administration Office, where this year's results will be announced. Dr Peter Scanes from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage will be there to release the results and explain the science of waterway and catchment health.

While the report card covers results from estuaries across the MidCoast Council region, the launch will shine a spotlight on work being done in the Manning River estuary. You will also have the opportunity to meet local people, who are actively managing their farms to increase productivity whilst looking after the waterways.

Following the launch, a two hour boat cruise along the Manning River will enable you to see first-hand the work that's being undertaken to restore the riverbanks and protect water quality in the Manning estuary. The cruise is free, and will include morning tea. Numbers are strictly limited, If you'd like to take part, please book your place by 28 November.

You can book your place for both events here:

Click here to view form.

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  2. Bill Heffernan
    Why moderation. Open and transparent council I’m told???
    1. MidCoast Council
      Thanks Bill,
      Moderation is required so that we can ensure our site does not include non-acceptable language, or comments that may be defamatory, libelous or otherwise breach Australian law. As you'll note, we couldn't publish your initial comment because it contained unacceptable language. However, we're happy to publish your comments if they are non-offensive and comply with Australian publishing laws!
  3. Rod Zemanek
    I note that you issue an A-F report card for various areas
    Where can we access the actual data used to base these reports on and how and when is the areas sampled?
    As a resident in the Branch and lower Karuah river areas I am interested in the actual results, the time the sample was taken and the weather/river condition at the time as these can affect the analysis and the result
    1. MidCoast Council
      Hi Rod,
      The Report Card results will be launched in Taree on Tuesday 5 December - this is a public event and everyone's welcome to attend. The Report Card and a technical report, which should help you with the information you require above, will be placed on this website on 5 December, after the Launch event. You can view last year's Report and technical report here: http://www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/Council/Works-and-Projects/Council-Projects/Report-Card
      A number of samples are taken from each site on different days to ensure the validity of the findings.
    2. Rod Zemanek
      Thanks for the response
      We have booked for the launch of the 2017 report
      We are aware of the 2016 Report and featured on the last page as the meeting at The Branch
      The A-F report is OK as a general indication however we need particulars in order to get an accurate measure of results at a time and place so real action can be taken by landholders
      The Karuah Catchment Landcare Group of which I am Convener is keen to assist in catchment and hence river improvement bu generalities do not allow specific action to follow.
      Rod Zemanek