Since March, over 5000 cubic metres of flood debris have been cleared from the Hawkesbury River and Central Coast waterways.
NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Director Amanda Ryan said enough debris to fill two Olympic swimming pools had been removed from the area since March this year, with over 7200 cubic metres removed from waterways statewide.
“It’s a mammoth effort that has seen the Hawkesbury and Central Coast waterways and beaches being cleared of the enormous amount of flood debris to make these waterways safer for local communities again,” Ms Ryan said.
“We will continue to use every resource available to us, with debris being collected from rivers, creeks and beaches using boats, cranes, barges, land vehicles and hand picking.”
With contractors already working in the Hawkesbury region as part of its shoreline maintenance project from the 2021 floods, they were able to move quickly to clean up.
The help from local communities made the job even quicker. “The clean-up included a significant amount of planning and resources including aerial surveillance,” Ms Ryan said.
“But equally, on-the-ground intelligence from the public to locate debris and waste really helped with the clean-up effort.”
While extreme weather experienced at the beginning of the year was trying for local communities, seeing the recovery work making headway lifted residents’ spirits.
As a result of the clean-up, waterways are safer for local residents, boat operators, and wildlife.
Ms Ryan praised the community for their patience and ongoing support during the massive clean-up and looked forward to even further progress in the coming months.
Communities affected by the February and March 2021 storms and floods will continue to receive support for their long-term recovery journey thanks to the staged rollout of eight programs from the NSW Storm and Recovery Package, jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments.
Reports should include the type of debris, its location, closest access point and photos.
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