Many water activities we enjoy as part of our lifestyle can have an impact on the health of our waterways and catchments. Next time you're out on the water, consider the following tips. It's easy to make a difference.
- Limit boat wash
- Respect fish habitat and breeding areas
- Reduce litter and waste from entering our waterways and recycle
- Boat maintenance
- Boat washing
1. Limit boat wash
Excessive boat speeds are not only dangerous but can have significant environmental impact on creek banks and foreshore areas. It's easy to make a difference.
- Consider migratory and wading birds roosting near the water line. Eroded banks damage habitats for animals, birdlife and aquatic species.
- Consider the effects of boat wash on all waterway users. Our waterways are used for a wide range of recreational activities including boating, canoeing/surf skiing, fishing, swimming, diving, water skiing and wind surfing.
2. Respect fish habitat and breeding areas
Aquatic animal and plant life are an important part of our ecosystem. More than 350 migratory and non-migratory birds can be found in South-east Queensland. Our mangroves, tidal flats and seagrass beds and wetlands provide vital habitat for juvenile fish, crabs, prawns, dugongs, turtles, water birds, frogs and reptiles. It's easy to make a difference.
- Stay well clear of fish nurseries and wetland areas. Breeding areas are common where the land meets the ocean and Broadwater. Quiet shoreline areas, where sandbanks form, mud settles and small aquatic plants grow, produce the perfect environment for spawning.
- Loss of habitat is one of the largest contributors to depleting fish stocks and crustacean numbers.
3. Reduce litter and waste from entering our waterways and recycle
No piece of rubbish is so small that it can't endanger aquatic plants and animals. It's easy to make a difference.
- Prevent litter entering the waterways when you're on the shore and out on the boat. Take biodegradable rubbish bags and bring your waste back with you.
- Discard cigarette butts in a suitable container.
- Use absorbent materials to soak up oil and fuel.
- Recycle old filters, batteries, oil and antifreeze liquid.
- Inboard motors - avoid releasing contaminated bilge water into the waterways.
Visit the Maritime Safety Queensland website for more information on sewage discharge.
4. Boat maintenance
Activities like cleaning, repairing and painting can often lead to pollution entering our waterways. However, it's easy to make a difference.
- Marinas and boat maintenance businesses are approved and registered by Council under Queensland Environmental Laws. These businesses have environmental conditions to limit pollution and protect our waterways. Ensure all work on your boat is carried out at an approved and registered business. It’s easy to find if a business is approved, just ask to see their environmental license.
5. Boat washing
- Boats, like vehicles, should be cleaned on grass and chemicals and detergents prevented from entering the waterways.
Jetties and boat ramps - local laws protecting you and your assets
Under the Environmental Protection Act it is an offence to release rubbish and pollutants (such as paint, pesticides, oil and other chemicals) to the environment or to allow materials to enter the stormwater drain or the waterway.
Pollution offences may attract on-the-spot fines of $150 to $600.