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Estuary health and water quality monitoring

Estuaries are unique and important natural environments. They contain a wide range of habitats and ecosystems that support many different species of plants, animals, birds and fish.

Estuaries also filter pollutants out of the water flowing through them, including pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals.

Lagoons, lakes, bays, river mouths and inlets are all types of estuaries.

How estuary health is monitored

The health of our estuaries can be threatened by coastal development, human activity and natural weather events such as storms and floods. However, we can help to protect and manage our estuaries through the Eurobodalla Estuary Ecosystem Health and Water Quality Monitoring Program.

This program focuses on the estuary health and recreational health of our six main estuaries.

  • Estuary health refers to the ecological integrity of an estuary.
  • Recreational health of an estuary relates to the safety of the water body for swimming, and fish or shellfish harvesting.

Council collects, compares, analyses and evaluates data on these complex ecosystems, measuring and recording their physical characteristics and overall condition. The information we collect helps us to understand the health and condition of our estuaries so we can manage them effectively.


  • Estuary ecosystem health report cards have been produced based on the NSW Government's Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (MER) protocols, using a number of important ecological indicators. The report cards provide a 'snapshot' of the ecological health of our estuaries.
  • Recreational health water quality report cards show the suitability for recreational activities such as swimming.

We can help you

If you need more information about estuary health and water quality monitoring, please contact our Public and Environmental Health Team: