2019 a great year for clean beaches

Environment Minister Matt Kean was pleased to release the annual State of the Beaches report which has returned great results for beaches across the NSW.

Bronte Beach, Sydney

Minister Kean said 2019 is one of the cleanest years of recreational water quality on record since monitoring began in 1989.

“Clean beaches are great news for the community and encourage more people to get out and about as we head into the start of the swimming season,” Mr Kean said.

“This year, 86 per cent of the State’s swimming sites are rated ‘very good’ or ‘good’ which is a significant achievement and great news as we head into beach season.

“Estuarine swimming sites have never been this clean, with a record breaking 82 per cent listed as ‘very good’ or ‘good’.

“This is in addition to the 98 per cent of ocean beaches shown to be clean and safe, as were four of the five ocean baths.”

Mr Kean said that while these figures are welcome, they also show there is still work to do.

According to the report, coastal lakes, lagoons and estuarine swimming spots were adversely affected by heavy rain, with the number of clean lake and lagoon swimming sites declining.

Lower levels of flushing in coastal lakes, lagoons and estuaries means these swimming sites take longer to recover from stormwater events.

The NSW Government committed $500,000 to address water quality at Terrigal Beach and surrounding lagoons, and $200,000 to establish an expert panel to determine the best way to improve water quality in Tuggerah Lakes.

“Terrigal Beach has already shown signs of improvement, having been upgraded to good, from a poor grade last year, which clearly demonstrates the NSW Government’s commitment to improving the environment,” Mr Kean said.

Read the State of the beaches 2018-19 report