Good news to come out of the NSW Government’s annual State of the Beaches report for 2018-2019 is that 14 of the region’s 15 ocean beaches have achieved a good or very good rating for swimming quality, with even problematic Terrigal improving on last year’s poor rating to be classed as good.
North Entrance was the only beach to decline, from very good last year to good this year, and Toowoon Bay was the only beach to receive a poor rating.
But poor ratings on almost all of the Coast’s lake, lagoon and estuarine locations have seen only 50% of all swimming sites in the region achieve a good or very good rating, which is an overall decline on last year’s report.
The Entrance and Pearl Beach had the only ocean baths to achieve a good rating, with all other baths rated poor, along with all of the region’s lakes and lagoons.
Both Cabbage Tree rockpool and Summerland Point Baths declined from good to poor.
The report points out that lakes, lagoons and estuarine locations are the most susceptible to impacts from wet weather conditions.
Central Coast Mayor, Lisa Matthews, said it was “great news for the community” that 94% of the region’s beaches had been found to be in good condition overall.
“It is also great to see many local sites showing improvements in water quality over recent years, with the report noting Council management actions are likely to be improving water quality at these sites,” Clr Matthews said.
“Many residents will be pleased to see Terrigal Beach has improved and received a good rating for the reporting year.
“While this is welcome news, we must remember the sampling year was relatively dry and water quality concerns remain for Terrigal Beach.
“Council remains committed to working through the Terrigal Catchment Audit to pinpoint any potential pollution sources and continue to improve the water quality in the area.”
Sites which (have) showed improvement (in recent years include): Terrigal Beach, Avoca Beach, Avoca Lagoon, Cockrone Lagoon, MacMasters Beach, Killcare Beach, Pearl Beach rockpool and Pretty Beach Baths.
Council’s Acting Director Environment and Planning, Brett Sherar, said the results also allowed Council to pinpoint areas for improvement.
“Two additional catchment audits, similar to the one in Terrigal, are already underway in response to the poor rating at Toowoon Bay and Cabbage Tree Bay rockpool,” Sherar said.
“These audits will allow us to understand where any pollution may be coming from and to make improvements to ensure water quality in these areas improve in the future.
“Despite improvements within the estuarine sites, we acknowledge that these sites also fall within the poor category.
“Due to the nature of water movement in our estuaries, these sites are not as well flushed as the ocean beaches, meaning the time taken to recover, especially after rainfall, is longer than for open ocean beaches.
“Council advises residents to check the Beachwatch website for the latest results before choosing to swim in these locations.”
Media release, Oct 8
Central Coast Council
State of the Beaches report, 2018-2019