Hornsby Council wins coastal innovation award

State-of-the-art technology to monitor the Hawkesbury Estuary

Hornsby Shire Council's Natural Resources Manager Diane Campbell with Roman Kabluczka from NSW Public Works Manly Hydraulics.

Hornsby Shire Council has received the 2014 Coastal Management Award for Innovation for its successful Hawkesbury Watch Program.

The program uses state-of-the-art technology to monitor the Hawkesbury Estuary and provide information on daily swimming conditions, estuarine health grades and real time data.

The public can access the information via a website and free mobile phone application, which benefits a wide range of people including industry workers, recreational users, waterway managers and researchers.

The information is gathered from a network of extremely accurate water quality probes, housed within buoys, that collect data every 15 minutes measuring water temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-a and turbidity.

This innovative program was established by Hornsby Shire Council in partnership with NSW Public Works – Manly Hydraulics Laboratory and has been operating since 2004.

Hornsby Shire Council’s Natural Resources Strategy Manager Dr Peter Coad and Environmental Scientist Dr Ana Rubio recently attended the Coastal Conference to accept the award.

“This award is an excellent achievement for Hornsby Shire Council and demonstrates the strength of our water quality programs, which use cutting edge technology and techniques to monitor the health of our waterways,” Hornsby Mayor Steve Russell said.

“Our natural environment is our most valuable asset in Hornsby Shire, and this program helps to protect it for residents and future generations to enjoy.

“I would like to congratulate Dr Peter Coad, Dr Ana Rubio and their team in the Natural Resources department for all of their hard work in establishing the Hawkesbury Watch program.”

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Sandra is a staff writer at The Kuringai Examiner. She likes to take on research-focussed articles. Shy and retiring, Sandra likes nothing more than scouring a pile of books and research articles for a morsel of information.