truwana Water Quality Planning Project

Providing a better understanding of the patterns of water availability and quality at key locations on truwana / Cape Barren Island.

Focus area for truwana

Water quality data is collected on truwana/Cape Barren Island.


Prior to 2008, Water Watch volunteers on truwana monitored the water quality of the island's major river. In June 2018, NRM North staff provided water quality monitoring training to the current Aboriginal Rangers on the island and did a biological assessment at one of the Ramsar lagoons. Following the training, in 2018/19 NRM North assisted the Rangers with the development of a Water Quality Monitoring Plan. The plan proposes to:

  • monitor the condition of the Ramsar site;
  • monitor the condition of important wetlands/lagoons;
  • better understand seasonal water holes;
  • locate and map freshwater springs;
  • better understand the freshwater attributes of the island;
  • document and compare water quality conditions and patterns over time; and
  • assist with the protection of riparian zones and aquatic ecosystems from pollution, erosion and potential threats.


truwana / Cape Barren Island is part of the Furneaux Group of islands in Bass Strait off the north east coast of Tasmania. Flinders Island lies to the north and Clarke Island is to the south. truwana is 478 km2.

In 1982 the East Coast Cape Barren Island Lagoons (ECCBIL) were given Ramsar status. An Ecological Character Description (ECD) was written for the Lagoons in 2008 with the aim of detecting any future change in ecological character and to fill the knowledge gaps. The Water Quality Monitoring Plan developed throughout this project will expand on this knowledge.

truwana rangers

Dr. Toni Furlong collecting data on truwana with Aboriginal Rangers.

Coast of Cape Barren Island

Beach of truwana/Cape Barren Island


NRM North continues to support the local community to monitor freshwater on the island, ensuring that the pristine environment is maintained and potential threats are identified, enabling appropriate mitigation strategies to be put in place.

NRM North staff will support the capacity building and training for the truwana Rangers on Cape Barren Island to assist in the management of the East Coast Cape Barren Island Lagoon including:

  • the use of water quality monitoring equipment;
  • collection and identification of macroinvertebrates; and
  • the development of a water quality monitoring plan for the use of rangers and school children.

Overall, best management practice for freshwater on the island will be better applied using the acquired knowledge.