Salty Lagoon Monitoring Project
Client: Richmond Valley Council
Richmond Valley Council (Council) has been undertaking a major augmentation of the Woodburn-Evans Head sewerage management system. This augmentation includes rehabilitation of Salty Lagoon, an important shallow coastal lagoon wetland system located within Broadwater National Park, north of Evans Head.
The ecosystem of this Intermittently Closed and Open Lake or Lagoon (ICOLL) has been modified and degraded from:
- receiving effluent from Evans Head Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) since 1942; and
- construction of an artificial drainage channel connecting Salty Lagoon to Salty Creek to the north.
Consequently Salty Lagoon currently functions more like a tributary of Salty Creek than a ‘closed’ lagoon system believed to exist prior to the channel.
The vision for the desired future state of Salty Lagoon is “improved ecological and cultural values for Salty Lagoon”. A number of rehabilitation strategies, plans and monitoring programs have been developed and implemented for Salty Lagoon. A key component of the Rehabilitation Implementation Strategy is to close the artificial channel between Salt Lagoon and Salty Creek to improve ecosystem health. As part of this strategy, Council requires the implementation of the Salty Lagoon Ecosystem Recovery Monitoring Program.
The key objectives of the Salty Lagoon Ecosystem Recovery Monitoring Program are to:
- confirm positive predicted changes in Salty Lagoon ecological and cultural values, particularly in response to the closure of the artificial channel;
- provide adaptive management response mechanisms before and after closure to inform future stages of the Rehabilitation Program; and
- inform long-term strategies with respect to the management of effluent from the Evans Head STP.