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Protecting catchments

Discover how we're protecting our catchments, and how you can play your part.

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Broadwater Catchment

Click to enlargeBroadwater catchment
  • Total catchment area = 63.94 kilometres2
  • Major tributaries = Biggera Creek and Loders Creek
  • Other tributaries = Nerang River, Coomera River, Wasp Creek, Pimpama River, Behm Creek
  • Catchment management group = Loders Creek Integrated Catchment Management Community Association, Biggera Creek Care Group

The Broadwater is an important recreational water environment and an economic resource for many residents and visitors to the Gold Coast. The water courses of the Nerang, Coomera, Pimpama and Albert rivers discharge into the Broadwater and Moreton Bay water bodies. The Broadwater is made up of a series of tidal channels to the north and is separated from the sea at the southern end by The Spit, a relatively recent coastal landform that has stabilised with the construction of the Gold Coast seaway.

The Gold Coast Broadwater is home to a number of marine species that use a variety of habitats found throughout the Broadwater for activities such as spawning, nursing young, seeking refuge or feeding. The Broadwater is also the low point in the city to which rainfall from several of the city’s major catchment areas drain. Some of this flow drains urban areas that could potentially transport various pollutants including sediments, nutrients, organic material, heavy metals and pesticides into the Broadwater.

View a map of the Broadwater catchment area on the Northern Gold Coast Catchment Story, a map journal developed by the Queensland Wetlands Program in the Department of Environment and Science, in partnership with local councils, Healthy Land and Water and Gold Coast Waterways.

For information on the health of the Broadwater catchment, view its report card at Healthy Land and Water.

Biggera Creek

Biggera Creek is located north of Southport. Its upper catchment area is located in Ernest Junction where it then meanders through Parkwood, Musgrave Hill and Labrador before entering into the Broadwater near Biggera Waters. A second tributary that drains flow from the Arundel Hill area, joins with the main creek system before discharging into the Broadwater. Biggera creek also enters the Broadwater via a northern arm that flows through a series of canals near Runaway Bay.

The freshwater region of this creek is ephemeral, whereby during periods of low rainfall, it becomes a series of small stagnate pools. The lower tidal region of the catchment receives stormwater input from surrounding urban and industrial areas. The area surrounding the northern entrance to the Broadwater consists of a series of canals, which receives stormwater runoff from the surrounding urban areas.

Loders Creek

Loders Creek drains a small catchment that has been extensively modified in response to urbanisation. The creek is approximately 8.3 kilometres in length and flows through Ashmore, Southport and Labrador before entering the Broadwater near Southport.

Greater than 25 per cent of the creek within the upper catchment has been converted into above or underground stormwater drain systems. Areas within the freshwater region of the catchment have also been re-profiled to facilitate flood mitigation. This has led to the loss of the riparian vegetation along regions of the creek.

The freshwater region of the creek consists of two (2) main tributaries. The southern tributary has been extensively modified, consisting of an ephemeral concrete lined open channel. The northern tributary begins as a concreted lined open channel system, forming a more natural slow meandering pool/riffle system before joining with the southern tributary. This series of pool/riffle areas along the northern tributary have been identified as supporting an important habitat for the endangered Wallum Froglet (Crinia tinnula).

Further information

The Loders catchment management group was one of the first catchment groups to be established on the Gold Coast to help protect and restore Loders Creek and its surrounding catchment.

Loders Creek and Biggera Creek Catchments Study Guide

The Loders Creek and Biggera Creek Catchments Study Guide is designed for use by school students and teachers, particularly those located within the Loders Creek and Biggera Creek catchments. This guide details specific catchment processes, water quality and waterway cultural information and provides learning activities designed to be utilised in both outdoor and classroom activities.

Download the study guide.

Further information

To find out more information and about how you can become involved in catchment management groups, visit the Watergum website.

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