Darwin Harbour Region Report Card

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) today released the 2018 Darwin Harbour Region Report Card, with positive results recorded at most sites tested.

Seven of the nine harbour zones tested in 2018 scored an A, compared to six As in 2017 and five As in 2016.

Buffalo Creek’s score changed from an E in 2017 to a D in 2018 due to natural variability in oxygen levels.

None of the sites tested recorded a negative result when compared to the previous year.

Long-term trends show no deterioration in Darwin Harbour water quality. Small changes between years are caused by natural variation.

DENR’s Aquatic Health Unit undertakes an annual surveillance water quality monitoring program of Darwin Harbour including Shoal Bay where development and population growth poses increasing pressures on the harbour’s environment.

Aquatic Health Unit acting director, Julia Schult, said the grades given to each of the nine sites are assessed against four key water quality health indicators – algae, water clarity, dissolved oxygen and nutrients.

“Water quality in Darwin Harbour is excellent at most of the locations tested,” Ms Schult said.

“The nine zones tested represent different physical environments in the harbour, which feature diverse marine life such as seagrass beds, coral reefs and mangroves.

“Adding to the excellent result overall was the fact no aquatic pests were found in Darwin Harbour last year and the beaches were suitable for swimming during the Dry Season.”

The Report Card has been published annually since 2009 with monitoring data presented in an online format since 2017.

The full Report Card can be found at www.denr.nt.gov.au/reportcards

Last updated: 18 June 2019