River under threat from backswamps

LOW lying areas in the Tuckean, Rocky Mouth Creek and Bungawalbin Creek systems will be the subject of a new study undertaken by the Richmond River County Council.

The study will look at the costs and benefits in tackling problems associated with 'backswamps'.

The council has recently contracted environmental consultant GHD Pty Ltd to undertake the analysis of options to better manage the swamps.

GHD project manager Lisa King said these rivers were some of the most significant coastal drainage systems in Northern New South Wales.

"The Richmond River estuary, with its associated wetlands and waterways, supports a rich biodiversity and is a focal point for local commerce, including fishing, aquaculture, agriculture, tourism and recreation," Ms King said.

"It is highly valued by the community, but it is under considerable pressure due, in large part, to the impact the floodplain backswamps are having on water quality through episodic blackwater events and chronic acid-water problems.

"This leads to fish kills, degraded local biodiversity and reduced water quality."

Management options include better groundwater and wet pasture management, and drain shallowing.

Ms King said the study had started and a draft report, open for public review, was scheduled to be completed in June.



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