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Environment

Discover how we are protecting the Gold Coast's natural environment - our spectacular beaches, hinterland ranges, bushland and waterways - and how you can help.

Protecting Waterways

Gold Coast hinterland waterfall and creek

The Gold Coast boasts a spectacular network of waterways made up of five main rivers, numerous creeks, lakes, canals and the magnificent Broadwater. Protecting the Gold Coast’s diverse water environments is everyone’s business as clean and healthy waters are vital for our environment, our lifestyles and economy.

Some 480 kilometres of rivers and streams, as well as 774 hectares of lakes, dams and canals, wind their way through the city’s landscape to our famous ocean beaches. Other water environments on the Gold Coast include wetlands, groundwater sources and estuaries. The largest of the city’s rivers flow into southern Moreton Bay - these rivers include the Albert, Logan, Coomera and the Nerang. At the southern end of the Gold Coast, the catchments of Tallebudgera and Currumbin, and the smaller Flat Rock and Coolangatta Creeks, flow directly into the Pacific Ocean.

Our city’s water environments are popular playgrounds for residents and visitors, and home to complex ecosystems. A significant proportion of them have been urbanised as lakes and canals, and this increasing pressure affects their health. We all need to play a part in protecting our waterways to ensure their continued health and to maintain their valuable functions for the future.

What Council is doing

Southern Moreton Bay islands

Through a range of integrated catchment management initiatives, Gold Coast City Council monitors and protects the health of our water environments for us to enjoy, and for aquatic plants, animals and birds to thrive in. Council responds to waterways pollution incidents and regularly undertakes water quality monitoring.

To help protect our waterways, Council also promotes water sensitive urban design in new developments and through stormwater infrastructure in existing urban areas. We carry out maintenance to control algae and weeds and run revegetation and rehabilitation projects to improve the riparian environment along our river and creek banks and in our wetlands.

Facilities such as boat ramps, fishing and viewing platforms are provided to help you explore and enjoy your waterways, however permits are required for building works along waterways such as pontoons, jetties and revetment walls.

What you can do

Get out and enjoy our waterways, but make sure you do so responsibly. Litter and cigarette butts are big problems for the health and attractiveness of our waterways, and affect our wildlife, so discard them appropriately.

Be stormwater responsible and consider the rubbish and pollutants that come from your own backyard. Be a responsible boatie and avoid polluting our waterways. You could also join one of our Catchment Management Groups and do your bit to keep our beaches and waterways clean and healthy.

You can contact the Catchment Management Unit for further information and advice on (07) 5581 7005.

Key information