Over 75% of participants at last week’s community update of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program thought that the program was tracking well and were confident that it would achieve medium to long-term improvements in water quality.
GeoCatch Chair Chris Adams said “We were really happy with the turnout on the night, with nearly 50 people attending, showing their ongoing interest in the health of our waterways and wetlands”.
“It was also really pleasing to hear that we are actually seeing water quality improvements both visually and in the monitoring data” said Chris. “Feedback on the night was really positive with most people being very happy with the progress to date”.
Presentations from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation included an update on actions being carried out in the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program and results of water quality monitoring across the catchment.
Actions designed to improve water quality including opening the Toby Inlet sand bar and manipulating seawater inflows into the Vasse Estuary were shown to be highly effective in reducing algal blooms over the last summer.
A presentation on water quality monitoring results also showed a reduction in nutrients in many Geographe waterways. “This was a great result” said Chris “and demonstrated that the work that GeoCatch has been doing in the catchment with our farmers over the last five to optimise fertiliser use, improve dairy effluent and protect waterways through fencing is finally paying off”.
“We are finally seeing water quality improvements, which is very heartening” said Chris.
Updates were also provided on the night by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and City of Busselton on the progress of developing water management plans for the Toby Inlet, Lower Vasse River and Vasse Wonnerup wetlands.
The projects are part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program supported by the State Government to improve water quality, waterway health and management of Geographe waterways
The 2017 Revitalising Geographe Waterways Annual report was also launched at the event. For a copy of the report visit the Revitalising Geographe Waterways website https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/rwg-publications/.