Road improvements make for cleaner waterways

Published on 01 March 2021

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A two year project to ensure run off from unsealed roads is cleaner before it reaches MidCoast waterways will see significant improvements for roads and our environment alike.

MidCoast Council and NSW Local Land Services have been working together to implement the NSW Government’s Marine Estate Management Strategy (MEMS) to protect and enhance the waterways of MidCoast Council.

“Water will always run off the roads and into our waterways” says Drew Morris, Catchment Officer for Midcoast Council. “Through this project though, we are trying to make sure the water running off the road is as clean as possible.”

Unsealed roads are a significant source of sediment and nutrients into our waterways. During rain events water runs down the roads, taking sediments from the road and the surrounding landscape and depositing them into our rivers, creeks and bays.

This muddy water can smother animals and plants, clog fish gills and reduce the health of our rivers and streams.

To achieve this over 20 creek crossings and unsealed roads within close proximity to rivers across the MidCoast will be sealed this year.

Roadside drainage is also being upgraded to slow down the water and help the fine sediments to drop out before they reach the waterway.

Works have been completed already on crossings over the Wallamba and Coolongolook Rivers which flow into Wallis Lake, roads near Wallis Lake, Burrell Creek which flows into the Manning; the Branch sub-catchment of the Karuah River and North Arm Cove.

Sealing the approaches to river systems stabilises the road and allows roadside vegetation such as grasses and sedges to establish, further reducing sedimentation of our waterways.

With support from NSW Government’s Marine Estate Management Strategy this project is continuing across 2021 and is hoped to be expanded into future years.