Mysterious mass sea hare beaching theory released

In February 2021, thousands of dead slug-like sea hares washed up on the beaches of the Hardy Inlet in Augusta causing local community concern. Sea hares are molluscs, which are dark-coloured and grow to up to 60cm. They are toxic and while they do not pose a threat to human … Read More

Biggest seagrass monitoring year on record

More than 1,500 seagrass observations have been taken across five estuaries since November 2020 to map seagrass distribution. This was the biggest monitoring season ever for the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s seagrass team, with three times more than the approximately 500 observations usually made in a year. Dr … Read More

Calculating the impact of best management practices on farms

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) modellers are using OVERSEER, a New Zealand-based software, to examine the impact of different farm management practices on nutrient levels flowing into our waterways. Catchment models calculate the nutrients entering waterways based on an understanding of drainage in the catchment and how different … Read More

Scientist for a day: Councillor Steve Jones

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) scientist, Elke Reichwaldt, was recently joined by Shire of Denmark Councillor Steve Jones for one of the regular water quality monitoring runs on Wilson Inlet. Water quality indicators, including oxygen level, salinity, nutrient levels and algae, are measured once a fortnight by department … Read More

New Healthy Rivers website

A new website developed as part of the Healthy Rivers Program highlights the importance of river health to the ecosystem. The Healthy Rivers Program supports the Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI), assessing the health of rivers throughout the REI catchments. The new website includes detailed data about each assessment site, including … Read More

New approach to seagrass resilience

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s resident seagrass expert Dr Kieryn Kilminster, is building worldwide understanding of what it means for seagrass to be resilient. Seagrass meadows are an important part of estuarine ecosystems, providing habitat and food for birds and marine life, and contributing to good water and … Read More

River health checks

Health checks of waterways entering the Hardy Inlet, Vasse-Wonnerup, Leschenault and Peel-Harvey estuaries have revealed most of the sites assessed are dominated by fish and crayfish species unique to south west WA. The assessments identified some areas of degraded riparian zones, damage by stock access, and poor water quality – … Read More

Oyster Harbour on road to recovery

Results of a water quality monitoring program have shown that while Oyster Harbour has good water quality, it is still recovering from a substantial loss of seagrass and shellfish that occurred in the 1990s. The Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI) supported staff from DWER to commence a comprehensive water quality monitoring … Read More

Seagrass – an important indicator of estuarine health

Seagrass surveys in the Leschenault Estuary have been conducted by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation since 2009. That year showed an abundance of healthy seagrass meadows covering about 70 per cent of the estuary. Seagrass monitored again in the summer of 2015, told a different story.