What's a Waterway Report Card?

Published on 03 November 2017


It's that time of year when report cards are issued and the MidCoast community will soon receive its own - the annual score on the health of our catchment and waterways.

Healthy waterways and catchments are vital systems that keep our local towns and communities thriving and ensure a healthy and vibrant future. Because of this, waterway and catchment health has been an ongoing commitment for MidCoast Council and we're excited to announce the launch of the first combined report card for the new MidCoast Council area.

We've developed strong partnerships with community members, farmers, industry and business groups, and NSW Government stakeholders to deliver projects that keep our waterways and catchments healthy. This collective effort is vital to achieving long term protection and improvement of catchment health, water quality and estuary productivity.

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.  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.

"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" says Council's Coordinator - Water Quality and Estuary Management Program, Prue Tucker.

"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."

Watch out for the release of videos on Council's website and social media channels which feature local legends such as beef farmer Peter Longworth, dairy farmer Julian Biega and oyster farmer Ian Crisp - and find out exactly how they are making positive changes to support their farm productivity and the water quality of our waterways.

Everyone is invited to attend the launch event where this year's results will be announced. Dr Peter Scanes from the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage will be there to release the results and explain the science of waterway and catchment health. You will also have the opportunity to meet local people, who are actively managing their farms to increase productivity whilst looking after the waterways.

This year's annual launch of the Waterway and Catchment Report Card will be held at 9am on Tuesday 5 December at Council's Taree Administration Office. Following the launch, a 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.

There are limited places on board the cruise - so if you'd like to take part, please book your place online via our Report Card Project page or call 6591 7320.

For more information and updates throughout November, visit the link above or follow us on Facebook.