Cockburn Sound water quality improved significantly

  • Reports find marine water quality is generally good
  • Environmental management measures working

Water quality in Cockburn Sound has improved significantly since the 1980s as a result of co-ordinated efforts to protect Perth’s coastal waters from pollution.

Announcing the release of the 2017 Cockburn Sound Drivers-Pressures-State-Impacts-Responses Assessment Final Report, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said Cockburn Sound today has typically excellent water quality.

The report considered pressures and risks to the Sound including impacts from contaminants, invasive marine species, boats, commercial and recreational fishing, climate change and development on the mainland coast.

It concluded that Cockburn Sound was generally well managed under a robust regulatory and policy framework supported by initiatives implemented by local government, industry and others.

These include active industry efforts to reduce discharges of nutrients and other contaminants; and local government improvements in stormwater drainage, dune rehabilitation, planning and monitoring, and managing coastal erosion and inundation.

The Cockburn Sound Management Council will consider the report’s recommendations and provide its advice to the Minister.

The 2018 State of Cockburn Sound Marine Area Report, which provides a triennial report on the health of the Sound including water quality, seagrass and fisheries, has also been published.

Both reports are available on the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s website.

As noted by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

“The State Government welcomes these reports on Cockburn Sound’s positive state of health.

“It shows that Cockburn Sound is being managed well and protected by State Government legislation and initiatives implemented by industry and other stakeholders operating in and around Cockburn Sound.

“It is great to see users of Cockburn Sound working collaboratively to plan, monitor and manage the health of the area.

“These reports are timely and will give vital information to help inform decisions about future uses of Cockburn Sound.”

As noted by Cockburn Sound Management Council chairperson Emeritus Professor Kateryna Longley:

“This report gives us a better understanding of how people use Cockburn Sound and what the community values about the area.

“Identified gaps in monitoring and knowledge of the Sound will be addressed to protect environmental values into the future.”

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