Healthy Estuaries WA is a $25 million State Government commitment, building on the work of the Regional Estuaries Initiative and delivering core actions of revitilising Geographe waterways. Launched in June 2020, Healthy Estuaries WA will focus on improving the health of Peel-Harvey estuary, Leschenault Estuary, Vasse-Geographe waterways, Hardy Inlet, Wilson Inlet, Torbay Inlet and Oyster Harbour. Supported by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions.
Healthy Estuaries WA coordinates and implements common actions across at-risk estuaries, building regional capability, promoting whole-of-industry engagement, and strengthening cooperative networks to share resources and knowledge.The program will include work to reduce nutrient inputs from priority catchments, use the latest science to monitor and effectively manage waterways, and continue to build collaboration between community, scientists, government and industry. See more: https://estuaries.dwer.wa.gov.au/
Sustainable agriculture Reduces nutrient run-off from agricultural activities. Soil testing will help farmers establish effective fertiliser application to save money, improve soils and reduce nutrient run-off. Industry partnerships will encourage best practice dairy effluent management.
Water in the landscape Improves the way water moves through the catchment to improve water quality. Streams will be revegetated and fenced to deter stock. Drainage upgrades, water sensitive urban design and prioritised infill sewerage will reduce nutrients entering estuaries.
February 2022 Oyster Harbour Estuary Forum Want to know what is happening in the Harbour?
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and Oyster Harbour Catchment Group are providing an update on Oyster Harbour.
The 2022 Oyster Harbour Estuary Forum was a successful event held in February at the Albany Entertainment Centre (Kalyelup studio) with 75 people attending. Aimed at informing the general community about the Healthy Estuaries WA (HEWA) program, guests were treated to a range of informative presentations from scientists, government, research staff, students, industry and community group representatives.
The Healthy Estuaries WA Program was introduced by Jennifer Stritzke (DWER), who explained how elements of HEWA (monitoring, stream restoration and sustainable agriculture) continue on from the success of the previous REI project. Bruce Radys from OHCG updated attendees on the range of activities being implemented locally by OHCG, including the Whole Farm Nutrient Mapping carried out with Farmers in conjunction with DPIRD.
Catherine Thompson’s (DWER senior scientist) overview of long term results of water quality monitoring in the Harbour showed a general improvement in water quality and seagrass cover over recent years. Of particular interest was the water flow and nutrient inputs during last year’s high rainfall events, which did show a ‘spike’ in water flow and nutrient levels, but not apparent long term effects on Harbour health. ct_oh_estuary_health_jan2022_v2.pptx Elke Reichwaldt reported on the City of Albany Centennial Park Wetland - which is looking good, with good plant growth and evidence of nutrient stripping at low flow rates. Joe from Harvest Road outlined sustainable management practices being implemented in the new aquaculture operation, including a large scale survey and clean up of rubbish in the Harbour. 220205_ohcg_sustainability.pdf
UWA student Sonja Pascho is carrying out research to determine the potential of cockles in the Harbour as environmental/biological indicators. Her talk outlined research methods including Carbon tracing and showed how fascinating these small bivalves can be. 2022_pascho_Albany_UWA.pdf After completion of the presentations MC Jo Tomlinson facilitated a panel discussion where guests asked questions to the panel of speakers. Further discussions continued over supper to round out an informative and entertaining evening.
Accu-spread and more served up at Gate 2Plate
This year’s Harvey Beef Gate2Plate Challenge field day was a huge success and OHCG activities were featured in a number of sessions. In the sponsors stands Sayah (with brother Sean's help – thanks Sean) set up an interactive display with the catchment model resulting in a few people getting a bit wet while learning about catchment management and feral/native animals. Dave Rogers from DPIRD gave a presentation on results from the uPtake trials. At the end of the day, attendees enjoyed some refreshments while viewing and participating in an Accuspread demonstration. There was a lot of interest in the pattern produced by the 2 different spreaders and how machines can be adjusted/modified to get a better result. On the school's challenge day, Bruce gave a presentation using a practical demonstration model developed by David Weaver (DPIRD). Students participated by adding phosphorous to different soils to see the relationship between soil PBI, phosphorous retention and yield. Well done to the Gate2Plate committee for organizing such a fantastic event
Fertilizing your mind at Nutrient Mapping workshops
In early March farmers who had soil sampling done under the Whole Farm, Nutrient Mapping program met at DPIRD for a workshop to receive their soil test results and maps. Well done to those who carried out their own DIY sampling. The mapping reports looked impressive with colour coded maps showing nutrient status over the whole farm. A range of informative presentations from DPIRD staff and agronomists provided a good background to interpreting the maps. One of the highlights was a range of ‘scientific experiment’ style practical demonstrations aimed at explaining the relationship between soil properties, phosphorus levels and production. Most participants have nominated an agronomist to help them develop appropriate fertilizer programs based on the soil test results.
Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge Inspection Day
Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challengers must be praised on the line up of cattle this year, with this being the very first year that all cattle have been deemed suitable for the Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge! Every year the quality improves. The day had well over 100 attending with an outstanding number of displays from sponsors. We had a great day talk to producers and fellow supporting organisations.
We think it's very important local producers know they aren't alone, and all the stallholders/sponsors that showed up to this event definitely demonstrated the amazing range of support available in our community. Whether it is protecting/improving their mental health, environmental sustainability and financial security just need to ask.
What happens next? Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge Main Field Day March 23rd The committee is in middle of putting an exciting program together for the HBG2P Field day, at Willyung Feedlot. It is exciting times in the beef industry and we look forward to the year ahead with Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Challenge.
Braving it to Inspect the Pasture
Howling winds and rain didn’t stop over 60 farmers attending the Southern Beef Elders Pasture Field Walk on 11th August at Carroll’s Clover Downs property near the Albany Airport. Driza-bones were out in force and gum boots were the footwear of choice to inspect a demonstration trial of 10 different pasture mixes planted side by side in large scale plots. Pasture mixes included different varieties of oats, rye-grass, clover and even turnips! Farmers were able to view the pasture growth prior to grazing and results of pasture cuts/dry weights were presented by James Bee along with a description of characteristics and suitability of the different pasture mixes. If you would like a copy of the weights or to discuss the trial results, contact James Bee, Elders Albany.
Back at the shed, fires were lit, and information was presented on St Vinnies grants, REI soil testing/uPtake trials and a bit more from James on Rhaphno forage brassica. Russell Ferry and the Elders team cooked up some nice burgers while farmers had a chance for a social catch up. The good turnout showed that Southern Beef is on the right track in developing a forum specific to beef growers in the South Coast high rainfall zone to share production information.
Healthy Estuary WA Launch The McGowan Government has committed $7 million over four years from the Healthy Estuaries WA program to improve water quality and restore the estuaries in the Peel, South-West and Great Southern regions.. This partnership will support farmers to take actions to reduce nutrient input to Estuaries.
Managed by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Healthy Estuaries WA will continue partnerships with more than 10 organisations across Western Australia, delivering strategic outcomes, supporting the economic growth of the regions and working to manage the effects of climate change on our waterways. This includes an ongoing partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to reduce the nutrient runoff from farms for the Wilson Inlet and Oyster Harbour, while supporting farm productivity.
The Healthy Estuaries WA program will directly employ more than 70 people delivering projects, with the majority living and working in regional areas. Delivery of the program will also support local businesses in the provision of goods and services, including technical services such as soil testing and clay manufacture. As well as reducing nutrient inputs from priority catchments, Healthy Estuaries WA will use the latest science to monitor and effectively manage waterways, and continue to build collaboration between community, scientists, government and industry.
Whole Farm Nutrient Mapping – Soil Testing – EOIs now open Our successful Whole Farm Nutrient Mapping project has been continued for another year as part of the Regional Estuaries Initiative/Healthy Estuaries WA programs. This is a highly subsidised soil testing program and a great way to get the nutrient status of your whole farm mapped, with workshops, tissue testing and agronomic advice included. See the attached flyer for more info or call Bruce Radys 0428994408. To complete an EOI use this link: ttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HealthyEstuariesEOI2020
We acknowledge the Minang and Koreng people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to the Elders, past, present, and emerging and to the wider Noongar community.