Wa­ter qual­ity un­der scrutiny

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

LO­CALS keen on eat­ing fresh seafood have spent the last 18 months mon­i­tor­ing the wa­ter qual­ity of Dick­son In­let.

Al­though re­sults so far have not been dis­turb­ing, the Lo­cal Marine Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee will con­tinue the monthly mon­i­tor­ing to keep an eye on the health of the cru­cial wa­ter­way.

“Res­i­dents re­port they used to catch 10 fish in one trip, now they say it takes 10 trips to get one fish,” Dou­glas Lo­cal Marine Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee chair Alex Ma­teer said.

“We’ve also re­ceived re­ports of al­gal blooms at the end of the each dry sea­son.

"Al­gal blooms can oc­cur nat­u­rally, but hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties can have an im­pact by in­creas­ing sed­i­ments, nu­tri­ents and con­tam­i­nants."

With as­sis­tance from Ter­rain NRM, Cairns Wa­ter and the Great Bar­rier Reef Marine Park Au­thor­ity, com­mit­tee mem­bers have been test­ing the wa­ter qual­ity for a range of dif­fer­ent pa­ram­e­ters in­clud­ing dis­solved oxy­gen, pH, tem­per­a­ture, salin­ity and tur­bid­ity.

Ten dif­fer­ent sites have been es­tab­lished along the in­let from the up­per reaches right down to the Sugar Wharf.

"At this early stage of mon­i­tor­ing, none of the re­sults have been too con­cern­ing, al­though the lev­els of dis­solved oxy­gen are con­sis­tently very low at some of the sites at the top end of the in­let," Ter­rain catch­ment plan­ning and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of­fi­cer for Dou­glas Steve Bai­ley said.

"Fur­ther mon­i­tor­ing for sev­eral wet sea­sons will be re­quired be­fore a clear pic­ture emerges of the health of Dick­son In­let,” Ms Ma­teer said.

“What we are do­ing now will pro­vide a valu­able base­line data set which we can hope­fully de­velop and ex­pand over time to help pro­vide us with a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of both the state of Dick­son In­let and how we can help to im­prove it.

"We’ll keep the Port Dou­glas com­mu­nity in­formed about what we find, and hope that if we can look af­ter the in­let, we’ll also be help­ing to look af­ter the Great Bar­rier Reef."

The DLMAC is made up of vol­un­teers and meets five times a year to pro­vide feed­back and ad­vice on reef mat­ters to the Great Bar­rier Reef Marine Park Au­thor­ity.

Any vol­un­teers who can help with wa­ter sam­pling once a month are urged to call Steve Bai­ley on 0409 265 160.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.