The Oyster Harbour Catchment Group was established in 1992 as a community catchment group, with the aim of protecting and rehabilitating the Kalgan River System and became an incorporated body in 1994. The purpose of the group is to co-ordinate and facilitate natural resource management to all stakeholders in the Oyster Harbour Catchment including land managers, the urban and peri-urban community, local government and government agencies. The OHCG is the key natural resource management group of the Oyster Harbour Catchment and forms one of the three community natural resource management groups for the Albany Hinterland sub region of the overall South Coast NRM region.
Currently the group consists of farmers, scientists and NRM specialists, interested community members and other stake holder groups including South Coast NRM, Department of Water, Department of Agriculture and Food, Landcare Australia, University of WA, Gondwana Link and Forest Products Commission. The group has achieved some fantastic results in the past with a wide range of on-ground activities. These include fencing of waterways and remnant vegetation, rehabilitation of remnant vegetation, revegetation using native species of local provenance, flora and fauna surveys, control of invasive species including weeds and feral animals, soil testing to aid in the reduction of nutrients leaching into waterways, establishment of perennial pastures to intercept and utilise excess water and nutrients, constructing designed earthworks to address salinity or water logging.
The OHCG has an important role inactively educating landholders, school groups and the wider community on environmental issues, the benefits of conservation and appropriate land management. The group hahas also been involved in all levels of regional planning and is involved with further developing and implementing the South Coast NRM regional strategy.
The Oyster Harbour Catchment Group partners with South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc. (South Coast NRM), the regional body that is funded by the State and Australian Governments through programs such as the National Landcare Program currently, and Caring for Our Country and the Biodiversity Fund previously.
Prosperous, vibrant rural communities for present and future generations within the Oyster Harbour Catchment.
Coordinate and facilitate Natural Resource Management to all stakeholders within the Oyster Harbour Catchment including land managers, marine managers, the urban and peri-urban community, education facilities, training agencies, volunteer groups, local government and government agencies.
Ensure landholder, local government and broad stakeholder participation in the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group Inc.
Encourage the development and implementation of strategic Best Management Practices in sustainable agriculture, marine, waterways and conservation.
Increase the awareness and involvement of the wider community in Natural Resource Management within the Oyster Harbour Catchment.
Encourage the incorporation of Natural Resource Management priorities into all aspects of land use and strategic planning.
The Oyster Harbour Catchment is situated on the South Coast of Western Australia and is a part of the South West Botanical Region. It stretches from Albany through to Tenterden, across the Stirling Ranges to Chillinup and South to, but not including, Two Peoples Bay. The entire area is approximately 3000 square kilometres and includes populated centres of the City of Albany and the townships of Mt Barker, Porongurup and Kendenup.
The catchment contains many natural assets such as the Oyster Harbour, the Kalgan River, the King River, The Porongurup National Park and the Stirling Range National Park. In total, there are approximately 31 Nature Reserves and 38 listed Heritage Sites within the catchment. One of the key focuses of the activities undertaken by the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group is to improve the health of the Oyster Harbour and the rivers feeding into it.
The Oyster Harbour is the centre catchment of the Albany Hinterland and shares its common borders with the Wilson Inlet Catchment to the West and Albany Eastern Hinterland to the East. These catchments fall into the South Coast NRM area of responsibility that includes the South Coast from Walpole to the West to Esperance in the East.