Focus on Coffin Bay water quality improvement

News article |

A group of leading organisations are working together to safeguard groundwater, surface water and coastal environments in and around Coffin Bay.

Forming the Coffin Bay Water Quality Improvement Working Group, this collaborative effort brings together expertise and resources from various sectors, including environmental agencies, local government, academia and industry leaders.

The Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board has taken a lead in bringing the group together and has committed more than $350,000 for a range of activities to be delivered by June next year. This includes a contribution to stormwater management planning; expanding monitoring and research; and fencing and revegetation works to improve the water quality of run-off from catchments that flow into the bay.

“Coffin Bay is a nationally-significant ecosystem on Eyre Peninsula located within the Thorny Passage Marine Park, with immense value to the local economy in terms of tourism and its seafood industry however recent studies indicate declines in ecosystem health that is related to declining water quality,” says Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board General Manager Jonathan Clark, who is chair of the working group.

Focus on Coffin Bay water quality improvement

The Coffin Bay Water Quality Improvement Working Group is composed of key stakeholders who are committed to addressing water quality challenges and preserving the unique ecosystem of this iconic region. The founding members include:

  • Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board
  • Lower Eyre Council
  • Primary Industries and Regions South Australia
  • Environment Protection Authority
  • Department for Environment and Water
  • Flinders University
  • South Australian Oyster Growers Association
  • Cummins Wanilla Streamcare Group
  • Lower Eyre Coastcare

“This multi-faceted partnership marks a significant step towards achieving water quality improvement in Coffin Bay, with a focus on monitoring and improving the water quality of groundwater and surface that discharges into the coastal environment,” says Mr Clark.

“By leveraging the collective expertise and resources of these organisations, the working group aims to increase monitoring, while investing in projects to reduce nutrient input into the system.

“All members of the working group are dedicated to the protection and preservation of Coffin Bay's unique natural environment.

"By working together, we aim to identify the key impacts affecting water quality in Coffin Bay. We are also looking to take immediate actions to reduce nutrient input into Coffin Bay system.”

Key objectives of the Coffin Bay Water Quality Improvement Working Group include:

  • Monitoring and Assessment: Conducting regular assessments of groundwater and surface water quality, as well as monitoring coastal environments, to identify areas of concern and potential pollution sources.
  • Research and Innovation: Collaborating with Flinders University to advance scientific research and understanding of the Coffin Bay ecosystem.
  • Community Engagement: Engaging with the local community to raise awareness of water quality issues, and encourage participation in activities that reduce nutrient input into the bay.

Along with the $350,000 committed by the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board, Lower Eyre Council is committed to developing a new Stormwater Management Plan for Coffin Bay, and Flinders University have submitted an Australian Research Council Linkage Project to investigate nutrient input sources and the impacts they are having on the marine environment.

The working group will meet regularly to develop and implement strategies, share knowledge, and track progress towards its objectives.

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