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Protecting catchments

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

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Pimpama River Catchment

The Pimpama River Catchment is one of the Coast's northern catchments and is situated in the corridor between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. It is part of a green belt connecting Moreton Bay with hinterland areas. The catchment is bordered by the Albert and Logan River systems to the north and west with the Coomera Catchment to the south. The catchment originates in the west encompassed by the Darlington Range. The river flows east under the Pacific Motorway through a low floodplain area which is mainly dominated by sugar cane farms and reaches its destination in the Broadwater and southern Moreton Bay.

Pimpama River Catchment facts

  • Total catchment area: 13,070 hectares
  • Major water courses: Pimpama River, Hotham Creek, and McCoy's Creek
  • Other tributaries: Oppman Drain, Norwell Drain and Kerkins Drain
  • Catchment management groups: Northeast Albert Landcare and Catchment Group

In one Aboriginal dialect, Pimpama means, freshwater crayfish (lobby), however it is really derived from the word Peempeema, which means, the place of the peewee. (Hanlon, W. E , The Early Settlement of the Logan and Albert). The area was established by European settlers in the early to mid 1800s and was mainly occupied by arrowroot farmers and loggers searching for valuable timber.

The upper catchment is largely rural and at present has limited residential/urban areas suitable for development. The river has tidal floodgates which acts as a weir between the estuarine water and fresh water. This structure has been proved to fail from time to time, when the flaps become wedged open by debris. The floodgates are currently undergoing a feasibility study to examine better solutions.

The lower estuaries of the catchment are popular for fishing, boating and recreation. McCoy's Creek is a declared fish habitat area and a zoned protected marine park. A declared Fish Habitat Area (FHA) is an area protected against physical disturbance from coastal development. Queensland´s FHA network ensures "fishing for the future" by protecting all inshore and estuarine fish habitats (e.g. vegetation, sand bars and rocky headlands) contained within declared FHAs, which play the key role of sustaining local and regional fisheries (Queensland Department of Primary Industries, 2010).

West of the motorway, the geomorphology is characteristic of a fast flowing creek with numerous riffle systems and natural habitats. The water quality in this section of the river is mainly affected by stormwater runoff, rural activities and the development of future homes.

The Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP) carried out by Healthy Waterways monitors ecosystem health of catchments in south east Queensland.

Find the latest report card findings of the EHMP on the Healthy Land and Water website.

Ken Stewart showcasing the riparian
restoration at his farm on the Pimpama River.
Source: Samuel Lindsay, CoGC.

Ken Stewart showcasing the riparian
restoration at his farm on the Pimpama River.
Source: Samuel Lindsay, City of Gold Coast.

Riparian Vegetation on your Farm brochure

The Riparian Vegetation on your Farm brochure is an educational tool to provide information to local landowners. The brochure communicates the importance of riparian vegetation and reassures residents that improving riparian buffers will not significantly impact on flooding or flood duration. The brochure also offers insights on how to improve farming practices and how these improvements will benefit landowners and their neighbouring aquatic environments.

Download the brochure

Mayor Tom Tate with the kids

Pimpama River Catchment Study Guide

The Pimpama River Catchment Study Guide is designed for use by school students and teachers, particularly those located within the Pimpama River and Hotham 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 Pimpama River Catchment Study Guide.

Further information

For further information and advice contact the City on 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326) or 07 5582 8211.

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