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Fitzroy Partnership for River Health News!

June/July edition...

RECENTLY RELEASED: 2016-17 Fitzroy Report Card results

Report Card Launch with Fitzroy Partnership and Central Queensland Mining Rehabilitation Group delegates on the banks of the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton.
Drawn from more than 637,131 sample results at more than 287 sites across the Basin, the latest report on waterway health in the Fitzroy Basin is out!

Endorsed by the Independent Science Panel and released on 1 June, the report covers results for ecosystem health, drinking water and agricultural suitability. The report card summary can be downloaded from this page.

RESULTS IN SUMMARY:

Ecosystem Health: The Fitzroy basin’s aquatic ecosystem health scored a 'C' grade overall, dropping from a 'B' grade in 2015-16. Detailed reports for individual catchments can be found here. Additional data on rainfall, ground cover, ground water, fish, fish barriers, floods and more can be found in the additional information tab.
 
 
Ecosystem health grades across catchment reporting areas of the Fitzroy Basin

Agricultural use: 'A' and 'B' grades were awarded to all catchments in the basin for both stock and crop suitability overall. Some stock and crop water quality guidelines were exceeded in some catchments at some sites - details of which guidelines and sites were involved can be found in the detailed stock report and cropping report.
 
Agricultural use grades for Stock in catchment reporting areas of the Fitzroy Basin

Drinking water: 'A' grades were received for health and aesthetic guidelines for treated drinking water for human use for all sites and towns in the Rockhampton and Central Highlands Regional Council areas, except for Springsure (groundwater) which received a ‘B’. Details of sites, some exceedances and how grades are calculated can be found here.
Treated drinking water grades across the Fitzroy Basin

Welcome to new FPRH Partners

The Fitzroy Partnership for River Health extends a warm welcome to new Partners, Coronado Curragh and Fitzroy Australia Resources.

Coronado Curragh operate near Blackwater and purchased Curragh Coal Mine from Wesfarmers, finalising the sale in March-April 2018.  Click on the links to find out more on Coronado Curragh and the Coronado Coal Group.

Fitzroy Australia Resources operate Carborough Downs and Broadlea Coal Mines near Moranbah and purchased the high-quality coking coal mines from Vale in 2016. Fitzroy Australia Resources also have 98,000 hectares of coal tenement opportunities in the Bowen Basin, including Ironbark No. 1 project and Red Hill project.

Adelaide Inspiration 2018: National Waterway Report Card Network

Field trip to Morialta Conservation Park and Mukanthi Playspace
Attendees from report card producers around Australia were treated to three days of informative and inspiring exploring, sharing and networking in Adelaide this March. Topics and activities included:
  • communication and engagement
  • report card resourcing
  • Water Quality Improvement Plans (WQIP’s)
  • speed reports from across Australia
  • environmental accounting 
  • waterway modelling
  • field trip to Morialta Conservation Park with EPA South Australia focused on water monitoring (and a quick tour of the innovative Mukanthi Playspace built to connect people with nature in the park)
  • guided tour of First Creek wetlands designed and engineered with nature to catch, filter and store storm-water for irrigation and recycling at Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Our web-developer, Kash, has put together a light-hearted overview of the workshop with photos and commentary, links to presentations and the program for those who missed out and want to know more.

A BIG thanks to the South Australian (SA) Government team in Adelaide for hosting and co-organising (with FPRH) and to all the workshop sponsors; Department of Environment, Water & Natural Resources SA, Environmental Protection Agency SA, Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership, Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways Partnership, Mackay Whitsundays Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership and Fitzroy Partnership for River Health.
First Creek Wetland tour, Adelaide Botanic Gardens.

Help us continue FPRH's work into 2018-19

Thank you to our current and past Partners whose valuable contributions enable the Fitzroy Partnership to prepare and release annual waterway reporting products for the Fitzroy Basin as well as build valuable networks to protect waterways around Australia - without you we simply could not do it.

It is indeed that time of the year again...  annual Partnership membership fees are due for the 2018-19 year to enable us to continue our work to provide a more complete picture on waterway health.

For CURRENT PARTNERS: The 2018-19 Partnership Prospectus has been sent to you - please let us know if you have not yet received your hard copy.

For PROSPECTIVE PARTNERS: Joining FPRH is an opportunity to play an active role in reporting on our region's waterways for the future and to network with leaders from industry, government and research sectors.  Your involvement is encouraged and important! The 2018-19 Prospectus provides an overview of the Partnership’s vision, our work for 2018-19 and an insight into what we do, and why you might like to invest. Download a copy here.

If you are interested in joining as a company or organisation, please contact FPRH's Executive Officer, Nathan Johnston via nathan.johnston@riverhealth.org.au or 07 4999 2821.
 

Exploring waterway health indicators - pH

It may look like just a couple of letters... but pH is incredibly important to waterway, ecosystem and human health.

In waterways, an out of balance pH can have significant and adverse impacts on the health of our aquatic ecosystems and the aquatic plants and animals they support.

The term pH is short for 'potential hydrogen' which is a physical-chemical property of water and refers to how acidic or alkaline it is. For example, low pH levels (acidic) can lead to increased solubility and toxicity of heavy metals and ammonia in stream sediment and the water column. This impacts the health and survival rates of aquatic organisms, such as fish and macro-invertebrates (fish food). Our community water quality monitoring guide is a great reference on how to measure with pH test strips and explains why it's so important to monitor water pH.

What does my pH result mean? pH measures the hydrogen and hydroxide ions in water on a logarithmic scale of 0 - 14. A measurement between 0 and 6.5 is acidic, between 6.5 to 8.5 is neutral and between 8.5 to 14 is alkaline. Low or acidic pH values have a high level of hydrogen ions present and low hydroxide ions. High or alkaline pH values have low levels of hydrogen ions and high levels of hydroxide ions. The pH grading scores used in the FPRH ecosystem health report card and community waterway monitoring tool are provided in the image below.

FPRH's Enviroscore makes the showcase at Myriad

What is it? Enviroscore is an online environmental report card data management and reporting solution offered at a reasonable price point. Plans and prices are available here.

Why use it? Enviroscore Online allows you to produce appealing online reporting products based on robust science - helping you communicate complex data simply, for greater understanding by all stakeholders.

Where can I find examples? The 2016 Great Barrier Reef Report Card is one example... view Enviroscore Online's portfolio of products and watch our promotional video here.
 

Why feature Enviroscore at Myriad 2018? Myriad is an annual event that celebrates creativity and innovation by bringing together some of the world’s best thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovators to showcase local and regional innovations. Enviroscore was one of 10 businesses and organisations selected to represent the Fitzroy region as part of the Regional Showcase. A full list of Fitzroy's and Queensland's other delegates can be viewed here.
 
Myriad's benefits to FPRH? Myriad provided a great platform to network, share ideas and identify potential opportunities for collaboration with other innovators, particularly in the Fitzory region - we are already exploring an Enviroscore collaboration opportunity forged at Myriad. The FPRH team also gathered valuable knowledge to strengthen FPRH operations and the delivery of Enviroscore. Kash thoroughly enjoyed the “Creating the big ‘O’ through Innovation” workshop delivered by two digital innovation experts from QUT and Nathan found the “Mentor blaze” workshop an excellent opportunity to network, discuss the product and get feedback from 30 innovation experts from Brisbane.

Cottoning on... to QLD's Plastic Bag ban

July 1, 2018 officially marked QLD's ban of lightweight plastic bags in all retail outlets which is certainly good news for our waterways, marine life and waterway birds. It does however leave shoppers with a choice to BYO bags, take up with heavier duty, reusable plastic bags or find alternatives... perhaps a cardboard box or two.

We certainly recommend biodegradable options that can be used 100's of times before reaching landfill (this makes them the most resource-efficient option!)...which is why we've recently invested in 100% FPRH branded cotton bags.

To kick off, we teamed up with FPRH Partners Cotton Australia and Fitzroy Basin Association to give away a cotton bag and reuseable KeepCup kit to the first 10 customers who mentioned "I'm ready for the bag ban" at Jolt Bakery Cafe in East St, Rockhampton. 
Johanna from FBA promoting the "I'm ready for the bag ban" giveaway recently

Got a River Rave?  Share it with community!

We welcome news articles from FPRH partners and the Fitzroy community. This newsletter is sent to a database of over 500 and is continually growing.

If you have a good news story, interest piece or lead we would love to hear from you - please contact us by phone or email shown below. 
If you would like more information about joining the partnership please contact:

Nathan Johnston - Executive Officer
P: 07 4999 2821 | M: 0400 221 055 | E: nathan.johnston@riverhealth.org.au
 
If you have a more general comment or request, please contact:
 
Kash Walker - Web Developer
P: 07 4999 2819 | E: kash.walker@riverhealth.org.au

Address:
Fitzroy Partnership for River Health
Level 1, 80 East Street
PO Box 139 Rockhampton, QLD 4700
 
FBA is the current host organisation of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health.

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Fitzroy Partnership for River Health · Level 1 · 80 East Street · Rockhampton, Qld 4700 · Australia

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