To ensure the Smart Catchments project has a thorough and current understanding of the Saltwater Creek catchment and its community and dependents, Council, in collaboration with the Queensland Wetlands Program (QWP) and the Department of Environment and Science (DES) conducted a ‘Walking the Landscape’ workshop that focused on the catchment’s hydrological aspects.
Over 30 invited participants spent the day sharing their knowledge of, and experiences in, the Saltwater Creek catchment. Attendees including geologists, geomorphologists, botanists, soil scientists, hydrogeologists, hydrologists and ecologists were joined by local residents and representatives from environmental and natural resource management groups.
Highlights from the Walking the Landscape summary document include:
- Upper catchment up to approx. 365 metres above sea level.
- Saltwater Creek main channel is permanent with salt water to Pease Street and tidal influence to Jensen Street (concrete channel starts here),
- Stormwater drains can run all year round in association with groundwater, related to metamorphic fracturing in upper catchment and pressure forcing water out of features (springs) lower in the landscape such as channels and drains
- Saltwater Creek originally ran through Centenary Lakes,
- Lily Creek is an important creek with some high value ecosystem services.
- It is unusual to have freshwater so close to the coast and makes Lily Creek very different to other creeks in a saltwater catchment.
- Areas of the mountain range are prone to slips and mudslides from fractured mudstone and sandstone.
- On the low-lying areas there are lots of small aquifers, water comes to the surface all over the catchment following rain.
- Historical fishing upstream of McManus Street (mud cod, tarpon, jungle perch).
- Approx 6,000 year ago sea level was higher than now.