The Geographe Catchment extends from Capel in the north to Eagle Bay in the west and east to Kirup. It is bounded by the Darling Range, the Whicher Range and the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. Below these ridges is an extensive coastal plain characterized by sandy soils and poorly drained flats, wetlands and river systems that flow to Geographe Bay.
Agriculture dominates the catchment’s land area, with dairy and beef grazing the most widespread. Viticulture has expanded in the western part of the catchment while production horticulture such as potato growing is also undertaken in these areas. The urban area of Busselton has now grown to acquire ‘City’ status and supports a busy commercial and industrial sector.
The combination of poor sandy soils, agricultural practices and urban expansion has led to water quality problems in the catchment’s waterways from nutrient run-off. Reducing nutrients leaving rural and urban areas is a key priority for the Vasse Geographe Strategy.
GeoCatch is the lead organisation for catchment management, and been undertaking on ground works and community awareness raising activities since 1997.
The main activities to be coordinated by GeoCatch over the next three years will be to:
• Seek additional funding to implement recommendations in the Water Quality Improvement Plan for the Vasse Wonnerup Wetlands and Geographe Bay (WQIP).
• Work with industry groups to reduce nutrients leaving beef and dairy farming enterprises.
• Work with farmers to protect and enhance riparian vegetation.
• Work with the urban community to encourage low nutrient gardening practices.
• Work with the City of Busselton and Shire of Capel to upgrade storm water systems.
GeoCatch, in partnership with the Department of Water undertake fortnightly water quality sampling across the catchment to gauge progress towards achieving water quality improvements.
For more information contact Danielle Mussell – GeoCatch Business Manager 9781 0111.