Celebrating partnerships that result in healthy waterways

Published on 05 December 2017

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MidCoast Council is applauding the efforts of its community partners, along with stakeholders such as the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, after today's release of the Waterways and Catchment Report Card.

This first combined MidCoast Report Card presents results for the Manning River Estuary, Khappinghat Creek, Wallis Lake, Smiths Lake and Myall Lakes.

Revealing the results to the MidCoast community today in Taree, Dr Peter Scanes from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) said "it's pleasing to see that almost all sites maintained or improved their grade this year".

Dr Scanes leads an independent team of scientists who assess the health of the waterways each year. The Report Card helps us 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.

Results this year show that the Manning River estuary has maintained a B grade over the past four years and is in good ecological condition, with the Khappinghat Creek estuary continuing with an A grade due to excellent water clarity and low algal growth.

The Mid Wallamba Estuary and Wallamba Cove have maintained a grade of C and B respectively for the last three years, with Pipers Creek maintaining a B grade. Central Wallis Lake declined from an A to a B this year. 

Further south, Smiths Lake, Charlotte Bay and Myall Lake have all report an A, while the lower Myall Estuary and Bombah Broadwater both reported a B, equal to, or improved from, previous years.  

"The waterways are such an important part of the MidCoast region and it's very exciting to see this holistic approach to waterway and catchment health across the region" said Deputy Mayor Katheryn Smith. "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, Council shone a spotlight on the Manning River estuary, celebrating the hard work of local farmers including Peter Longworth, Ian Crisp and Julian Biega, who are improving landscape and waterway health.  They are also featured in the report card for managing their farmland to be sensitive to waterway and catchment health whilst maintaining productivity for their businesses.

After the release of the Report Card results, local residents, scientists and government representatives gathered on board Manning Valley River Cruises’ ‘Island Explorer’ to see some of the projects that Council and its partners have invested in over the years. 

"It was a great opportunity to bring the community with us to see for themselves some of the work that's being done to improve our water quality" said Council’s Manning Catchment Officer Blayne West. "These projects on the Manning River 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."

More information on water quality, the videos featuring our local legends, and the full Report Card can be viewed here.