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Hilltops to Oceans 2004

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Conference Cairns 11-14 May 2004


The Major threats to the health, productivity and biodiversity of coastal and marine environments result from human activities on land. In many cases water resources (H2O) in streams, rivers and groundwater reservoirs transport pathogens, nutrients, sediments, heavy metals, persistant organic pollutants and litter large distances from the Hilltops to the Oceans.

Globally sewage remains the largest source of contamination, by volume, although industrial pollution and more diffuse sources, such as pollution from certain agricultural practices, and increased sedimentation resulting from deforestation and mining operations, also pose a significant threat to the health and productivity of coastal and marine resources.

Click to enlarge - Humpback whale and calf - Cleveland Bay
Click image to enlarge - Humback whale and calf - Cleveland Bay
Image courtesy of Garry Douglas

The Hilltops-2-Oceans (H2O) Partnership Initiative, launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Partnership in September 2002, aims to strengthen national and regional governance frameworks that protect coastal and marine environments by:

  • Highlighting the link between freshwater and marine ecosystems;

  • Building multi-stakeholder capacity for integrated water resource and coastal area management; and

  • Exploring the use of time-bound Wastewater Emmission Targets as a tool for managing water from hilltops to the oceans.

To accomplish the goal of protecting H2O from the Hilltops to Oceans, the Initiative also seeks to expand stakeholder involvement at global, regional and national levels through political, financial and institutional partnerships, alliances and networks between government, intergovernmental and international organisations, NGOs, the private sector, academia, and civil society.

The marine and coastal environment of Townsville
Click to visit - Townsville SOE - Coast & Marine Theme - Pressure/Condition/Response model


Townsville City Council is presenting at the Conference on Council's own Local Government perspectives on total water cycle management and whole of catchment management from a water asset (stormwater; sewage; and water supply) perspective including the environmental protection of wetlands and sustainablity.

Partnerships with Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) for the delivery of community waterway management education (including catchment tours, school education, and celebrating water events).

Finally Council is promoting the evolution of its waterway management and Healthy Waterway partnerships to the "Creek to Coral"- "our waterways, our responsibility" partnership between the Queensland Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

Stormwater Quality Management
Innovative tropical urban stormwater quality management in low lying flood plains - Camuglia Street GPT wetland treatment system (Louisa Creek)

Introducing "Creek to Coral": "Creek to Coral"

Visit Creek to Coral

Challenges and perspectives page

Townsville City Council Home PageCouncil's Environment Management Services