Pumicestone Passage
Pumicestone Passage
Pumicestone Passage catchment
  • Last updated:
  • 07 Jan 2020

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

The passage separates Bribie Island from the mainland. It is a long, tidal waterway influenced by tidal flushing from its northern mouth at Caloundra and its southern mouth at Deception Bay. Approximately 80% of the passage is less than two metres deep.

The Pumicestone Passage has high environmental values, including seagrass meadows, sand islands, intertidal flats and mangroves and iconic and threatened species such as turtles, dugong and migratory shorebirds. It is part of the Ramsar-listed Moreton Bay Marine Park and is also a declared fish habitat area under state legislation. 

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

Statistics and facts

  • Total catchment area: 785 Km2 (Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay)
  • Area within Sunshine Coast: 458 Km(20% of LGA)
  • Sunshine Coast Council Divisions: most of 1 and 2
  • The catchment area includes Bribie Island and the spectacular Glass House Mountains
  • Drinking water and sewage treatment plants on Bribie Island service the island community.

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 stakeholder groups have collaborated to preserve and improve the values of the Pumicestone Passage and its catchment, in recent years under the banner of the Pumicestone Catchment Network.

The Network developed and implemented the inaugural catchment plan for the Passage for the 2013-2016 period.  To ensure the ongoing protection of the Catchment’s values the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay councils prepared the Pumicestone Passage Catchment Action Plan 2017-2020[5661KB]. It features 32 actions to be undertaken between 2017 and 2020 by a wide range of stakeholders, under five broad goals.

  • Improve water quality
  • Enhance habitats and biodiversity
  • Increase community benefits and stewardship
  • Increase industry benefits and stewardship
  • Strengthen our knowledge, planning and advocacy

Individual actions will be undertaken by lead and support partners who are listed in the plan.  In addition, broader collaboration and reporting continue to be facilitated through biannual meetings of the Network.