Sound sea­grass de­cline con­cern de­spite wa­ter qual­ity lift

Southern Telegraph - - News - David Sal­vaire

An on­go­ing as­sess­ment of the Cock­burn Sound has shown a con­tin­u­ing de­cline in sea­grass de­spite im­prove­ments in wa­ter qual­ity.

A Depart­ment of Wa­ter and En­vi­ron­men­tal Reg­u­la­tion spokesman told the Tele­graph the Driv­ers-Pres­sures-State-Im­pacts-Re­sponses As­sess­ment had raised sev­eral is­sues.

De­creas­ing nu­tri­ent con­cen­tra­tions, es­pe­cially in the south­ern ar- ea of the sound, were a con­cern, as well as the De­cem­ber, 2015 fish kill event.

“A key part of the as­sess­ment has been ex­ten­sive stake­holder con­sul­ta­tion and the feed­back from this con­sul­ta­tion will be con- sidered as part of the as­sess­ment,” the spokesman said.

“It is an­tic­i­pated that the in­de­pen­dent peer re­view will com­mence shortly and be com­pleted by early Septem­ber.

“Three peer re­view­ers with ap­pro­pri­ate tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise will be engaged to un­der­take the re­view of the draft as­sess­ment.”

Re­cent test­ing also re­vealed toxic fire­fight­ing chem­i­cals found in the Cock­burn Sound were at safe lev­els for recre­ational users.

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