The 2020 Tweed Waterways Report looks at the state of the Tweed's rivers and streams and the pressures placed on them in the past, now and into the future. Photo: Cudgera Creek.
The 2020 Tweed Waterways Report looks at the state of the Tweed's rivers and streams and the pressures placed on them in the past, now and into the future. Photo: Cudgera Creek.

Major issue for North Coast waterways this year revealed

FISH kills have been identified as one of the major issues in the council’s 2020 Tweed Waterways Report.

The summarised snapshot of water quality throughout the Tweed Shire Council region across the past 12 months.

The 2020 report contains a water quality monitoring report card, and reveals some of the challenges in managing waterways and balancing economic activity, recreational use and environmental protection.

Waterways program leader Tom Alletson said the report card was an engagement tool.

“We want people to take an interest in the health of our creeks and rivers, and understand the challenges we all face in maintaining their environmental and recreational values,” he said.

In most of the Tweed’s rivers and creeks, 2020 water quality scores were similar to those of 2019, however a significant issue experienced in 2020 were fish kills that occurred in coastal creeks following flooding in February.

“Inflows of oxygen-depleted floodwaters caused serious fish kills in Cudgen, Cudgera and Mooball creeks,” Mr Alletson said.

Another area that the report card highlights for poor water quality are the creeks that flow into Cobaki and Terranora broadwaters, which have recorded a D for the third consecutive year.

With an aim of lifting this score, the council is seeking expressions of interest from rural landowners who wish to improve the health of Duroby, Bilambil, Piggabeen and Cobaki creeks.

Funding is available through the council’s River Health Grants program to address common problems including bank erosion, a lack of native vegetation and cattle impacts.

Eligible grant activities include river bank fencing, stock drinking troughs, revegetation, weed control and erosion stabilisation.

“In every catchment, we need people living upstream to be conscious of water quality downstream, and support changes that will protect the Tweed’s internationally significant environment into the future,” Mr Alletson said.



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