The Noosa River has maintained its A- quality score in this year’s Healthy Land and Water Report Card, despite a fall in other regional catchment scores.
Noosa Council has welcomed the latest findings for the Noosa River.
Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie said Noosa River had not seen the drop in water quality many other south-east Queensland waterways had experienced in the past year.
“It’s great to see our river and connecting creeks remain healthy, due in a large part to extensive stream bank vegetation, and that our community has such a strong connection to the river and their local creeks,” Cr Wilkie said.
“Holding a steady A-minus river rating while others fall follows extensive erosion-control work with Landcare in the Kin Kin catchment and consistent efforts by the Noosa Integrated Catchment Association.
“In the face of increasing population and climate pressure, constant work is needed to maintain and hopefully improve the health of the Noosa River into the future.”
Healthy Land and Water CEO Julie McLellan said Noosa’s waterway benefit rating held strong at 4.5 stars, reflecting the high number of residents satisfied with the waterways.
“Excellent catchment condition results in extremely high numbers of residents – 86 per cent – who are satisfied with their local waterways, and extremely high levels of personal benefits local residents gain from using their waterways – 81 per cent compared to 58 per cent for all of South East Queensland,” she said.
“40 per cent of Noosa Shire residents recreate in or alongside their local waterways at least daily, among the highest within South East Queensland.”
The Report Card noted Noosa’s freshwater creeks were in excellent health, with a slight improvement in aquatic insect health at Ringtail Creek.
Stream bank vegetation in the catchment is still excellent (89 per cent cover), as is wetland extent (88 per cent cover) in the freshwater reaches.
“The extent of wetland habitat in the estuary also remains excellent with 90 per cent of mangroves and saltmarshes remaining,” McLellan said.
“Higher levels of stream bank vegetation and estuarine habitat supports valuable commercial and recreational fisheries and stops erosion of sediments into the waterways.”
Healthy Land and Water’s Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP) is regarded as one of the most comprehensive waterway monitoring programs in Australia.
Now in its 21st year, it delivers an annual regional assessment of the environmental condition and benefits of waterways for South East Queensland catchments.
Council’s Acting Environmental Services Manager, Shaun Walsh said Noosa Council was pleased to support programs that helped maintain the health of Noosa’s waterways, including the Keep It In Kin Kin project, in partnership with Noosa and District Landcare, which aims to reduce rural sediment runoff.
“Council is also pleased to fund the River Ranger program, in partnership with the Noosa Integrated Catchment Association, which provides ongoing environmental monitoring and surveillance for the Noosa River,” Mr Walsh said.