Saltwater Creek catchment
Saltwater Creek is an urban catchment within a residential estate, north of Cairns Central Business District.
The catchment stretches across the suburbs of Whitfield, Edge Hill, Manoora, Aeroglen and Cairns North and includes a number of schools, Cairns' main hospital, popular public spaces including the Botanic Gardens, the Tanks Arts Centre, and retail areas.
- Saltwater Creek is tidal and discharges to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon just south of the Barron River.
- Saltwater Creek is estuarine until well into the catchment i.e.salt water to Pease Street with tidal influence to Jensen Street (concrete channel starts here).
- Stormwater is controlled through the catchment primarily in constructed concrete drains that discharge to Saltwater Creek.
- This is a low lying area of Cairns which is subject to inundation during storm events on high tide.
- Despite its urban location, Saltwater Creek Catchment includes open spaces with vegetation and birdlife. A popular prawning spot, there are generally fish observable in Saltwater Creek. Fish kills have occurred in occasional years, usually during the late dry season.
- Historically lagoons and sand ridges rich with wetlands stored stormwater which was naturally filtered before being discharged to the sea. Considerable drainage of these wetlands was undertaken after World War II to control mosquitoes.
- The catchment includes Lily Creek with its high value ecosystem.