Macleay Ecohealth Project 2015-2016
Final Technical Report


Cover of Macleay Ecohealth Project 2015-2016

The development of a standardised means of collecting, analysing and presenting riverine, coastal and estuarine assessments of ecological condition has been identified as a key need for coastal Local Councils who are required to monitor natural resource condition, and water quality and quantity in these systems. Forty-four study sites were selected across the Macleay catchment; 32 freshwater sites and 12 estuarine sites and these were sampled 6 times from April 2015 to February 2016 to contribute to the assessment of the ecological condition of the catchment.

The Macleay River Catchment was divided into four major hydrological units across 22 sub-catchments:

  • Tablelands,
  • Macleay River main stem,
  • Freshwater tributaries, and
  • The estuarine tributaries.

The project aimed to:

  • Assess the health of coastal catchments using standardised indicators and reporting for estuaries, and freshwater river reaches using hydrology, water quality, riparian vegetation and habitat quality, geomorphic condition and macroinvertebrate assemblages as indicators of aquatic ecosystem health, and
  • Contribute scientific information to the development of a report card system for communicating the health of the estuarine and freshwater systems in the Macleay catchment.