With summer fast approaching, there’s sure to be lots of residents and visitors enjoying the Sunshine Coast’s waterways and wetlands – whether it’s for boating, paddling, fishing or swimming.
Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said council’s Banksia award-winning Environment and Liveability Strategy (ELS) aspired to provide waterways and wetlands that were healthy, resilient to change and valued by the community.
“It’s clear that our diverse waterways, like Pumicestone Passage, Mooloolah River and Maroochy River, are already highly valued and enjoyed by our community,” Cr Cox said.
“We all have a role to play in keeping them ecologically healthy.
“Our waterways and wetlands are home to unique habitats such as seagrass meadows, sand islands, intertidal flats and mangroves, and threatened animals like turtles, water mouse, dugong and migratory shorebirds.
“That’s why it’s important we enjoy our beautiful waterway recreation areas responsibly, by following signs and on-water regulations, taking all your rubbish home with you and avoid damaging marine plants and habitats.
“You can even roll up your sleeves and join the many community groups and individuals who work tirelessly every year to enhance our coastal, river and catchment habitats, supported by council programs like Land for Wildlife, BushCare and Landholder Environment Grants.”
Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said council was committed to the ongoing protection and management of our waterways and catchments, both for their environmental value and the liveability of our beautiful region.
“Each year, thanks to the local Environment Levy, council participates in the Healthy Land and Water Monitoring Program – one of the most comprehensive waterway monitoring programs in Australia,” Cr Suarez said.
“This annual report card is a valuable tool for us to keep track of our progress, identify challenges and determine areas that may benefit from additional effort, to ensure we continue enjoying a healthy environment and liveable Sunshine Coast for generations to come.
“Through the ELS, council is continuing to invest in major environmental management programs that support catchment and waterway health, to ensure the Sunshine Coast’s natural assets are preserved and enhanced.
“Over the next 3 years council has committed to programs focused on achieving best practice in construction management and erosion and sediment control – to reduce sediments entering our waterways.
“This will involve a comprehensive education and regulatory approach across all parts of the construction section from residential builders through to contractors and developers.”
It is natural for waterway health to vary from year to year as a result of environmental conditions such as rainfall, which affects the levels of pollutants that enter our waterways.
Council’s Environment and Liveability Strategy has a target to achieve consistently good to excellent grades across all our river catchments by 2041.
The latest results from the annual Healthy Land and Water Report Card are available via: hlw.org.au
To learn more about responsible recreation in our waterways and wetlands, visit council’s website: sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au