Pumicestone Passage Catchment
  • Last updated:
  • 12 Oct 2016

Note: To view the Environment Levy funded Pumicestone Passage (Bells Creek) rehabilitation project, click here.

The Pumicestone Passage catchment receives freshwater inflows from a network of streams including Bells, Mellum, Coochin, Coonowrin, Tibrogargan, Hussey and Elimbah Creeks. These drain eastward from the D'Aguilar Range and the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains.

The passage separates Bribie Island from the mainland and is a long, tidal waterway influenced primarily by tidal flushing of the southern passage from Deception Bay. Approximately 80% of the passage is less than 2 metres deep.

Due to environmental diversity, including seagrass meadows, sand islands, mud flats, mangroves and significant species such as turtles, dugongs and migratory shorebirds, the Pumicestone Passage is part of the Ramsar-listed Moreton Bay Marine Park. It is also a declared fish habitat area and a high ecological value waterway under State legislation.

The passage is also a regional aquatic playground, presenting opportunities such as boating, paddling, fishing and swimming, which attract thousands of locals and visitors each year.

Statistics and facts

  • 785 square kilometres total catchment area
  • 458 square kilometres within council region
  • 58% within Sunshine Coast Council area (42% within Moreton Bay Regional Council region)
  • 20% of the total Sunshine Coast Council area
  • Includes all or part of Council divisions 1 and 2
  • No drinking water or sewage treatment plants in the mainland catchment
  • Drinking water and sewage treatment plants on Bribie Island service the island community
  • Map of Pumicestone Passage Catchment

Catchment management

In response to declines in water quality, loss of wildlife habitat and high population growth within the catchment, Sunshine Coast Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council and more than 30 stakeholders worked together to develop the Pumicestone Passage and Catchment Action Plan 2013–2016[5880KB].

The Action Plan featured 41 actions[34KB] over a three-year period, to address key issues. Over the three years, 29 actions were completed, 7 actions are on their way to being completed and 5 actions were not started. The actions that were not started will be carried over to Action Plan 2, which is currently being developed. 

This project recently received recognition at the Healthy Waterways Awards within the government stewardship category. The Pumicestone Catchment Network are continuing to work together to develop and implement Action Plan 2.

Action Plan Implementation Summary[5079KB]

More information

If you have an enquiry about catchment management in the Pumicestone, please contact the Biodiversity and Waterways Team via Council's customer service centre.