Ross Creek catchment works a waterways success story

Cleveland is reaping significant environmental benefits following a decade of revegetation work culminating in more than 12,000 additional native plants now stabilising the Ross Creek catchment area and enhancing an important wildlife corridor from Long Street to Smith Street.

Mayor Karen Williams said the site was a great example of the environmental projects being undertaken across Redlands Coast.

“The restoration works to this section of the Ross Creek catchment has brought many benefits, including slowing down water flow during rain events, improving water quality, creating new wildlife habitat and vastly enhancing aesthetic and environmental values,” Cr Williams said.

“Sometimes progress is hard to spot until you revisit a site and see seedlings planted many years ago now towering over your head.

“In the case of the Ross Creek catchment conservation efforts, aerial photos from 2010 and 2018 speak for themselves.

“On Redlands Coast, we value our naturally wonderful environment; and projects like these are happening across the region thanks to the combined efforts of dedicated Council staff and Bushcare volunteers.

“Reports such as our annual Redlands Coast Waterways Recovery Report and the Healthy Land and Water Report Card highlight the condition of our waterways, but also provide some great examples of environmental achievements, of which our community can feel proud.

“A quick scan of the 2018 Redlands Coast Waterways Recovery Report tells us that nutrients, litter and sediment continue to impact our waterways, but, in good news, Council and community efforts have seen about 268 tonnes of storm water pollutants and 99 cubic metres of litter trapped and retrieved from waterways, aquatic weeds managed at 45 Redlands Coast sites and more than 54,000 riparian plants placed.”

Healthy Land and Water CEO Julie McLellan commended Redland City Council for its commitment to protecting the Redlands Coast environment.

Ms McLellan said results from the 2018 Healthy Land and Water Report Card indicated the quality of the Redlands Coast catchment remained in fair condition, though pollutant loads had risen due to an increase in rainfall throughout 2018.

“These results showcase why revegetation projects like the Ross Creek restoration are such vital steps in improving the health of waterways on Redlands Coast,” she said.

“Not only do these projects help stabilise waterways, reduce erosion and improve water quality, they also encourage community members to enjoy their local waterways and build an emotional connection to the environment.

“This connection ultimately motivates them to care for and protect their local waterways into the future.”

Ms McLellan said the 2018 Report Card revealed almost 60 per cent of Redlands Coast residents were satisfied with their local waterways, which is significantly higher than the south-east Queensland average of 50 per cent.

“With the delivery of more projects like the Ross Creek restoration, we expect to see this number rise in future years,” she said.

Links to the Redlands Coast Waterways Recovery Report and the Healthy Land and Water Report Card can be found on Council’s website.

Mayor Karen Williams with Healthy Land and Water CEO Julie McLellan at the Ross Creek catchment in Cleveland.