More than 100 people joined to celebrate the successful delivery of the Regional Estuaries Initiative at the Regional Estuaries Initiative Conference in Mandurah on Wednesday 11 August.
The Regional Estuaries Initiative has been succeeded by the State Government’s Healthy Estuaries WA program, with the conference providing an opportunity to consolidate learnings before undertaking the next steps.
Jennifer Stritzke, Healthy Estuaries WA Coordinator at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), said it was a rare occasion for everyone in the program to come together, share insights with others working in similar spaces, and understand how they fit into the bigger picture.
“Collectively, we wanted to provide an opportunity to learn from the last four years and link together the people that made it happen.”
Projects under the Regional Estuaries Initiative covered every stage of estuary protection – from scientific monitoring and modelling, management and planning, as well as on-ground actions to reduce nutrients in our waterways.
DWER Scientist and conference attendee, Frances D’Souza, said it was fantastic to be able to identify where her work fits into the bigger picture.
“It was really valuable for me to see how the science I work on was used to inform where on-ground actions are implemented.
“Examples of achievements, such as how the fertiliser management program has prevented 185 tonnes of phosphorus from entering waterways, is really rewarding – it gives me a tangible perspective on how the work I’ll be doing throughout Healthy Estuaries WA will have a real-world impact.”
The $25 million Healthy Estuaries WA program was launched by Premier Mark McGowan in May 2020 and will continue to protect and improve the health of key South West estuaries.
Healthy Estuaries WA is a collaborative program led by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in partnership with:
- The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
- Peel-Harvey Catchment Council
- Leschenault Catchment Council
- Lower Blackwood Landcare District Committee
- Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee
- Torbay Catchment Council
- Oyster Harbour Catchment Group
- Western Dairy
- South Coast Natural Resource Management inc.
The Regional Estuaries Initiative and its successor, Healthy Estuaries WA, are State Government Royalties for Regions programs.