Plan to preserve wetlands
THE Peel-Harvey Catchment Council announced a new action plan last week to manage the Peel-Yalgorup Wetlands System which stretches from Mandurah down through the shires of Harvey and Waroona.
WA Science Ambassador Professor Lyn Beazley announced the action plan in Mandurah on Wednesday.
The plan involves bringing community stakeholders into the management of the wetlands, including communities, groups, business, local governments and the State Government.
The wetlands system covers 26,530ha through Harvey, Murray, Waroona, Mandurah and the inner Peel Region and is one of 36 wetlands in Australia deemed to have international importance.
Catchment council chairman Andy Gulliver said the plan encouraged government, community and industry to become more involved and make better decisions about the care and management of the wetlands system.
“It’s an unfortunate lesson of history that we often don’t realise what we’ve got until it’s gone,” he said.
“The Wetlands and People Plan will inform the community about the true value of our wetlands and enable people to make informed choices.”
Mr Gulliver said the plan was the first Ramsar Convention CEPA Program, which stood for communication, education, participation and awareness, in Australia to be site specific.
“It has taken many years of persistent effort and commitment,” he said.
“The launch of the plan is a watershed moment for our community. Over time it will change the way we think about and value our natural assets.”
Mr Gulliver said the wetlands were under threat from declining water quality, poorly managed recreation and the loss of surrounding native vegetation and wetlands.
“The wetlands are surrounded by large residential, commercial and rural areas, with significant additional urban and industrial development proposed for the coming decades,” he said.