Airlie Beach urban area nestled on the hill slopes of Muddy Bay and Abel Point and Bay.
Summary of progress
The Whitsunday Coast catchment area includes the High Ecological Value areas of Dryander National Park and adjacent inshore fringing reefs. Dryander National Park comprises almost 50% of the catchment and coastline. The urban hubs of Airlie Beach and Cannonvale sit in the north east of the catchment with Shute Harbour to the east. Both Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour are developed on steep sloping coastal foreshores.
In 2007, the Whitsunday Coast catchment was ranked with a high ecological condition relative to other catchment areas in the Mackay Whitsunday region. However, in 2007 the catchment received a high marine risk exposure rating. The modified urban areas of the catchment that receive high intensity rainfall events pose risks and impacts to the adjoining marine area. Between 2007 and 2013, there have been efforts to improve urban stormwater management as well as improving agricultural management practices for water quality benefits.
It is a priority in the urban zones of the catchment area to implement management practices that will reduce total suspended sediment entering the receiving waters from the urban environment and associated development to protect the estuary, mangroves and fringing inshore reefs. This will include improved stormwater management and development palnning, implementation and regulation. The development and adoptionof the ABCD management practice framework around ports, small harbours and estuary moorings will help guide natural area improvements where there is close interface between urban and marine assets.
In agricultural zones of the catchment, management practice improvements to reduce nitrogen loads will look to be addressed through improved management practices for improve event water quality.