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Coastal and Marine

OUR coastal and marine environment is spectacular and diverse, encompassing the land and coastal zone to the three nautical mile limit.

The South Coast coastline stretches for more than 1,000 km and alternates between sandy beaches, granite headlands, limestone cliffs, vegetated coastal dunes, coastal wetlands, inlets and approximately 500 offshore islands.

South Coast NRM facilitates community-initiated coastal activities, scientific research and monitoring to ensure the coastal zone is continually enhanced and protected.

Click the link to view Southern Shores 2009 - 2030 - A Strategy to Guide Coastal Zone Planning and Management in the South Coast Region of Western Australia. scmg2009_southern-shores_lo.pdf

Coastscapes Coastal Corridor project

THE South West Botanical Province of WA is globally recognised as one of the planet’s major biodiversity hotspots.

Within this hotspot, there is an almost continuous strip of intact coastal native vegetation along the South Coast called a macro-corridor network - essentially bushland which provides a safe haven for wildlife.

The Coastscapes program protects and enhances this 512 km strip which incorporates two major sections - the Two Peoples Bay to Fitzgerald corridor and the Fitzgerald to Cape Arid corridor, by expanding native wildlife habitat through revegetating patches of bare land and connecting them to existing vegetation. 

Coastscapes also controls invasive species which threaten biodiversity and protects and enhances existing native vegetation endangered by the impact of livestock and Phytophthora dieback.

By 2016, public and private land around Wellstead and Bremer Bay will have benefited from 32 ha of revegetation and 19 km of fencing protecting 148 ha of bushland and more than 65 ha of weeds, primarily Sydney golden wattle (Acacia longifolia) and coast tea tree or Victorian tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) will also have been controlled.

Overall these efforts will contribute to the rehabilitation of native vegetation by creating a safer habitat for native animals and increasing the recreational enjoyment for visitors and locals.

Many of the region's landholders may be eligible for funding to rehabilitate their land. To find out if you are eligible please contact: Coastal and Marine program leader Dylan Gleave on 08 9076 2210 or 0427 928 400 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mapping the Coastscapes Coastal Corridor project

Please click the map's icons to discover more about the variety of work the Coastscapes project has completed.

Coastal and Marine Theme Gallery

What we know - values and threats

The South Coast region includes approximately 1,000 km of spectacular and diverse coastline alternating between sandy beaches, granite headlands, limestone cliffs, vegetated coastal dunes, numerous inlets and more than 500 offshore islands.

The Recherché Archipelago, a group of 105 islands stretching 230 km (143 miles) from east to west and 50 km (31 miles) off-shore contains many of these features, making it an extremely important marine and terrestrial environment. The western group of islands are close to Esperance and the eastern group at Israelite Bay.

About 70 per cent of the terrestrial coastal environment is contained in the conservation estate with the majority of the remainder being unmanaged crown land or land managed by Local Government for recreational purposes.

The marine component of the region extends from the coastline out to the three nautical mile State limit, including waters to three nautical miles off the coast of offshore islands. This comprises a substantial area of State NRM responsibility of around 1 million ha and more than 1,000 km of marine/coastal interface (the coastal zone).

In places, State marine waters extend to approximately 70 km off the mainland around Esperance and include a range of major benthic habitats within the continental shelf.

South Coast marine waters are directly influenced by large scale ocean currents such as the Leeuwin Current, localised hydrological variations and inputs such as river mouths, global and local climatic conditions as well as the Southern Ocean’s currents and swell regimes.

More than 800,000 people visit the region’s coastal national parks and conservation reserves annually, contributing to the economic stability of the region through overnight stays and retail trade in residential centres.

People also visit reserves managed by Local Government Authorities where stewardship and facilities are sometimes limited.

Coastal and Marine biodiversity

THE coastal and marine environments contain much of the region’s most environmentally intact ecosystems, a high proportion of reserved land and a high degree of species endemism.

The almost continuous strip of intact coastal native vegetation along the South Coast is the major east-west link in the region’s macro corridor network. The coastal corridor is a high priority linkage, significant in spatial scale and its connections between protected areas of high conservation value.

The coastal corridor is broken at Albany, Esperance, Denmark, Bremer Bay and Hopetoun and is under threat from Phytopthora dieback and degradation through recreational use and land development.

The coastal terrestrial reserves, in particular Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve and the Cape Arid and Fitzgerald River national parks, represent significant habitat refuges for threatened indigenous fauna, such as Gilbert’s potoroo, the dibbler, the western ground parrot and the western whipbird.

The coastal wetland systems of Lake Warden in Esperance and nearby Lake Gore are registered as Ramsar sites (the secretariat for the Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971) due to their high significance as a major refuge for migrant and resident water birds of the region during the dry season.

Offshore islands provide important habitat, breeding and resting sites for many seabird species including albatross, petrels, shearwaters, penguins and the endangered Cape Barren goose - the Australian sea lion and New Zealand fur seal are also prevalent in these areas.

A comprehensive broad-scale scientific research project, Securing WA’s Marine Futures (2006 – 2008) mapped and surveyed 510 km2 of benthic habitat across Broke Inlet, Mt Gardner, Point Anne and Middle Island.

Quantitative biodiversity assessments of primary producers, invertebrates and fish were undertaken through towed video, drop cameras, Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUVs) and benthic trawls.

The quantity and quality of baseline information gathered through this project set a benchmark of resource condition and has allowed effective and strategic monitoring of marine community assemblages.

The project demonstrated the temperate marine environment of the South Coast has high biodiversity and endemism, particularly amongst invertebrates such as sponges - 78 of the 156 species recorded were new discoveries.

Coastal and marine resource use

THE oligotrophic waters of the region are not highly productive in comparison with other areas of the country and similar marine environments of the world.  A small commercial fishing sector fleet within the South Coast marine bioregion consists of:
  • Abalone Fishery
  • South Coast Purse Seine Fishery
  • Demersal Gillnet and Longline Fisheries
  • Australian Salmon Fisheries
  • Australian Herring Fishery
  • South Coast Crustacean Fisheries
  • South Coast Trawl Fishery
  • South Coast Estuarine Fisheries Octopus Fishery and a South Coast Scalefish Fishery.

The small Statewide Marine Aquarium Fish Fishery and Specimen Shell Fishery also exist in the region.

Commercial fishers of the South Coast are proactive in managing protected species interactions and pursue development of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and industry self-regulation. The South Coast Licensed Fishermen’s Association is the umbrella organisation.

OceanWatch Australia, SeaNet and the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council support a smarter fishing industry to continually improve practices. An EMS for the South Coast Estuarine Fishery (SCEF) was developed in 2007.

Codes of conduct/practice have been developed for the SCEF and Australian Salmon Fisheries. The South Coast Purse Seine Fishery has invested in projects to reduce by-catch of shearwaters and adapted fishing practices to suit.

Coastal and marine aquaculture is a small industrial sector for the region, the main species being land-based abalone, mussels and oysters. The industry is guided by land-based marine aquaculture development guidelines and an aquaculture plan for the Recherché Archipelago.

The region’s marine tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing, with approximately 25 fishing tour licences and four eco-tour licences issued for the South Coast marine bioregion.  Seven commercial operations licences have also been issued for the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park.

A review of recreational fishing in the region commenced in 2002/03 and resulted in the production of a draft five year strategy for management of recreational fishing in the region (Department of Fisheries, 2004).  Over a 12 month survey of recreational estuarine fishing in the bioregion during 2002/03, the total estimates for the estuaries and inlets surveyed were 254,171 fisher hours, resulting in a catch of 212,575 kept fish and 201,710 released fish (Department of Fisheries, 2007).

A Sea Change for Aquatic Sustainability – Framework for a New Act of Parliament to replace the Fish Resources Management Act 1994, was released for public comment in June 2010, in response to growth in community and industry awareness of the need for effective environmental management and the shift needed within WA legislation in the way aquatic ecosystems and fisheries are conceptualised and managed.

Introduced pests are considered to be one of the major threats to the marine environment throughout the world. A snapshot study that deployed settlement plates for six months in 2007-08 found 25 pests in Albany and 15 in Esperance. Further introductions that have the potential to devastate the marine environment of the region could come from the west coast of WA, eastern Australian and overseas.

While both major marine areas were found to have a low risk of introductions and translocations from both commercial and recreational vectors, there is still a need for continued vigilance.

A number of marine cetaceans are resident or migrants to the region including humpback and southern right whales which calve and breed in the waters off the coast.  Shore and boat-based whale watching is an important tourism draw card during winter months.

Coastal and marine planning

A MARINE bioregional planning process has begun for Commonwealth waters from the 3 - 200 nautical mile offshore boundary. The south west marine region covers more than 1.3 million km2 of ocean adjacent to the eastern tip of Kangaroo Island off the South Australian coast to waters off Shark Bay.

The south-west bioregional profile and background reports were released in 2007, with the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts identifying seven areas for further assessment as marine reserves in 2009.

A regional marine strategic planning process is underway for state waters off WA’s South Coast – from Cape Leeuwin to the South Australian border - to the 3nm state limit. The process involves the development of a comprehensive and integrated approach to the sustainable use and conservation of these waters. 

In September 2010, the State Government released the draft Regional Marine Strategic Plan for the South Coast and the accompanying reference report, Oceans of Opportunity: a proposed strategic framework for the marine waters off WA’s South Coast.

The State-coordinated process of developing a Regional Marine Strategic Plan is being carried out concurrently and cooperatively with marine planning for South West Commonwealth waters further offshore.  At present the South Coast has one marine park, the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park, which was gazetted in May 2009.

State policy for sustainable management and planning in coastal and near shore marine environments is defined in the WA State Coastal Planning Policy (Western Australian Planning Commission, 2003).

This policy provides guidance for local and regional planning strategies, structure plans, schemes, subdivisions, strata subdivision and development applications, as well as other planning decisions and instruments relating to the coast. The objectives of this policy are to:

  • Protect, conserve and enhance coastal values, particularly in areas of landscape, nature conservation, Indigenous and cultural significance.
  • Provide for public foreshore areas and access to these on the coast.
  • Ensure the identification of appropriate areas for the sustainable use of the coast for housing, tourism, recreation, ocean access, maritime industry, commercial and other activities.
  • Ensure the location of coastal facilities and development takes into account coastal processes including erosion, accretion, storm surge, tides, wave conditions, sea level change and biophysical criteria

Planning for land use and infrastructure requirements is set out in the Lower Great Southern Strategy (Western Australian Planning Commission, 2007).

A regional coastal management strategy, Southern Shores 2009-2030, outlines regional objectives, management actions and opportunities for collaboration between stakeholders to better manage the coast.

One of the major issues identified by the community was the increasing impacts from vehicle use, both road-registered 4WDs and off-road vehicles (ORV) on beaches and in the coastal zone.

The Control of Vehicles (Off Road Areas) Act 1978 exists to control, license and restrict ORV use in some areas, but enforcement is limited. ORVs have been prohibited on popular swimming beaches in Esperance using local laws and in Albany through State legislation.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife(DPaW) improves terrestrial conservation reserve plans on behalf of the Conservation Commission of WA and develops marine conservation reserve plans on behalf of the Marine Parks and Reserves Authority.

DPaW is currently in the process of reviewing regional plans for the Albany coastal reserves and Esperance and Recherché parks and reserves.  

Several coastal planning and management documents have been developed for Local Government Authority coastal reserves (shires of Denmark, Jerramungup, Ravensthorpe and Esperance).

Climate change

It is predicted climate change will have significant impacts on the coastal and marine environment which may include:

  • Sea level rise of between 0.2 and 0.8m by 2100 and subsequent estuary water-level rise with subsequent flooding, erosion and alteration of adjacent ecosystem.
  • Possible modification of the Leeuwin Current with subsequent impacts on life cycle and distribution of marine fauna including species of commercial interest.
  • Acidification of the marine environment may impact on vulnerable species

These impacts contain considerable risks and the community needs to develop and implement strategies to mitigate or adapt over future decades.

The State Coastal Planning Policy 2.6 (Western Australian Planning Commission, 2003) is being updated to recognise predicted sea level rise over the next 100 years. However, the new setbacks only apply to new development and not existing ones.

Trade-offs

THE coastal and marine area is an environmentally, economically, socially and culturally important asset to the region and beyond.

Pressures on coastal and marine environments are numerous and are becoming more severe. An integrated approach to the management of these areas is vital for their sustainable use.

It must be accepted that trade-offs need to be considered between the economic, social and environmental aspects of the management of the coastal and marine zone.

While it is desirable to continually create and involve new groups in coastal zone management, there are sometimes limited resources to support all ideas and/or projects.

The on-going support of active existing groups and stakeholders is essential to achieve the best natural resource management outcome for the coastal zone and should not be sacrificed just to start new projects or programs.

Trade-offs need to be considered between on-ground actions and investment in expanding the knowledge base for coastal and marine biological systems.

Local communities will also need to consider trade-offs between recreational use of coastal areas and the conservation of the coastal and marine zone.

With more than 70 per cent of the coastal environment under some form of conservation management, the demands to develop the remaining areas will only increase.

Climate change and its associated threats and impacts are more of a certainty, although complex interactions make some aspects difficult to predict with certainty.

Adaptation trade-offs related to possible changes in the coastal and marine zone need to be considered by the community, including loss or modification of foreshore reserves, private land and other NRM assets.

Some of the issues outlined by the South Coast NRM Biodiversity theme can also be applied to threats to Coastal and Marine theme assets and values.

Our Projects

Southern Shores’ coastal community engagement project

CONTINUED support for coastal community engagement activities and on-ground works is being facilitated by devolved grants available from South Coast NRM through the Southern Incentives 2010-2013: Southern Shores Coastal and Marine grant program.

Eligible projects implement actions in-line with Southern Prospects 2011 – 2016 and the regional coastal strategy, Southern Shores 2009-2030.

In total, 22 community groups and nine public land and aquatic resource managers have been directly engaged through 14 projects as part of the Southern Shores Coastal and Marine grant program. Continued demand and uptake of funding opportunities for on-ground works and coastal community engagement activities is evident with some groups re-applying for next phase activities once initial projects were successfully completed.

Projects have included benthic invertebrate monitoring in estuary foreshores, near shore marine monitoring, shorebird monitoring and protection works, walk trail and beach access maintenance, weed control in coastal reserves, wetland boardwalks and raising community appreciation of natural environments.

Community groups and land managers are also supported independently of the grant program through the technical, logistical and educational support from program personnel. On-going restoration and rehabilitation maintenance activities, including defining access and brushing, locally driven on a small-scale are vital to protecting and maintaining the value of the coastal corridor.

Salty Summer engagement and coastal community education project

School-based engagement activities and the broader Salty Summer activities campaign are held over the school holidays. In January 2012, activities were presented by trained locals from each coastal town, linking beachcombing with their own local knowledge.

Activities have been held in Denmark, Albany, Cheyne’s Beach, Cape Riche, Bremer Bay, Hopetoun and Esperance. Beach treasures were developed into artistic creations at children’s workshops held after the beachcombing walks. These pursuits engaged approximately 300 volunteers and young people participated over the summer of 2012.

A suite of very successful practical shorebird and hooded plover events were delivered across the region in a partnership between South Coast NRM, Bird Life Australia, local bird groups and the community.

Other education and engagement initiatives which receive continued support from South Coast NRM include the Albany Senior High School Marine Science Program, the Denmark Marine Science Program and the Esperance Bay Monitoring Project, implemented by the Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School and operating for more than a decade.

Improving Sustainability with commercial fishers

The improvement of management practices to optimise sustainability with commercial fishers has involved a partnership with SeaNet/OceanWatch and the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council WA. The project has involved engagement of the Greenlip and Brownlip abalone fishers, the South Coast Estuarine Finfish Fishers and the WA Salmon Managed Fishers.

Southern Shores

(MAP HERE)

Achievements

Coastal and Marine achievements

  • The Estuarine Fisheries Research Project sampled and assessed estuarine fish abundance and condition in six estuaries (Broke, Irwin, Wilson, Oyster Harbour, Wellstead and Stokes inlets) identifying indicators for estuarine health and activities for community involvement. The project also implemented a highly successful community fish tagging program in Wilson Inlet which later expanded to Oyster Harbour.

  • Partnership arrangements have progressed with the fishing industry to reduce the by-catch of fleshy-footed shearwaters, a threatened migratory seabird. This has resulted in a significant reduction in shearwater deaths through altered fishing regimes and equipment modifications. Future reductions in bird deaths are proposed by improving knowledge of shearwater behaviour through a bird banding and monitoring program at Breaksea Island off Albany.

  • The Marine GIS Information and Resource Compilation project has on-going collation of information for management of the biodiversity, cultural and socio-economic values of the marine environment. It is anticipated the marine recreational usage and values survey developed and implemented as part of this project will continue to capture coastal marine usage and value information.

  • Saltwater Treasures is a community marine monitoring program that has fostered a high level of interest with potential for introduced pest surveillance for the temperate South Coast marine waters.

Implementation of the Southern Shores 2001 – 2021 coastal management strategy, developed by the Local Government-based South Coast Management Group (SCMG), has resulted in:

  • Strategic coastal zone support

  • Regional Coastal Management Forum, Bremer Bay, November 2006

  • Sustainable Facilities project at Starvation Bay, Shire of Ravensthorpe

  • Wilson Inlet/River Boating and Recreation Facilities Plan, Shire of Denmark

  • Integrated Coastal Plan Fisheries Beach, Shire of Jerramungup

  • Regional on-ground coastal work and coastal and marine education and awareness raising initiatives

  • Regional Vehicles in the Coastal Zone fora at Bremer Bay in 2009 and 2010.  The fora generated recommendations to guide future off-road vehicle and four wheel drive management priorities in the coastal zone of the South Coast.

  • The Southern Shores 2001-2021 strategy was reviewed to produce Southern Shores 2009-2030.  The Southern Shores 2009-2030 implementation plan has also been developed to guide the operation and activities of the SCMG into the future.  It is anticipated the SCMG, land managers and community will continue to implement priority actions from Southern Shores where appropriate. The Southern Incentive round 3 coastal and marine devolved grant program supported on-ground coastal works identified from Southern Shores as well as coastal management plans, including:

  • Dune brushing, rehabilitation, revegetation, weed eradication, seed collection and propagation at Twilight Headland and other Esperance coastal locations, Hopetoun and surrounds, Boat Harbour near Wellstead, Lowlands Beach, Albany, Peaceful Bay and other coastal areas surrounding Denmark.

  • Fencing, track and beach access delineation, off road vehicle track management at coastal areas near Denmark, Walpole and Albany, Boat Harbour near Wellstead and locations in close proximity to Bremer Bay, Hopetoun, Munglinup and Esperance.

  • Education and interpretive activities and signage as a component of on-ground works in popular locations surrounding Denmark, Albany, Bremer Bay, Hopetoun and Esperance.

  • Provision of recreation facilities, viewing platforms and staircase infrastructure, campground maintenance, composting toilets and fish waste disposal management in coastal locations such as Parry’s Beach and areas close to Denmark, Lowlands Beach and other popular locations close to Albany, Boat Harbour near Wellstead, Starvation Bay and Hopetoun in the Shire of Ravensthorpe and coastal locations surrounding Esperance.

  • Support in the implementation of school-based education and awareness programs such as the Albany Senior High School Marine Science Program, a highly successfully program supported by South Coast NRM and partners for many years.

  • Marine resource stewardship activities in coastal townships in Albany and Esperance.

  • Other projects directly funded through the Caring For our Country program including on-ground works at Lions Lookout, Black Hole and Parry’s Beach in the Shire of Denmark; Betty’s Beach in the City of Albany; Bremer Point Flat Rocks in the Shire of Jerramungup; West Beach and Flathead Point in the Shire of Ravensthorpe; and Castletown Quays in the Shire of Esperance. Other successful projects include by-catch reduction in the South Coast Estuarine Fishery, in partnership with OceanWatch and the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council; as well as the Cape Le Grand Track Rehabilitation and Sustainable Walk Trail Establishment project, delivered by the Department of Environment and Conservation and the Esperance Senior High School Bushrangers.

  • Continued support for coastal community engagement activities and on-ground works facilitated by devolved grants available through South Coast NRM’s Southern Incentives grant and the Southern Shores Coastal grant program.

  • Cultural, heritage and ecological surveys undertaken in eastern parts of the region and on islands of the Recherché Archipelago.

  • Employing Aboriginal officers who have assisted the Indigenous community with rehabilitation of traditional waterholes around Esperance and the creation of a management and Phythophora dieback plan, prepared for the Stockyards Reserve in consultation with the Esperance Noongar Aboriginal Corporation and community.

  • Assessment of risk and monitoring of potential marine pests in the Albany and Esperance areas.

Goals and Aspirations

Our aspirations are that our coastal and marine systems are maintained and/or improved by the community embracing social, cultural, economic and ecological values. Aspirations over the next 25+ years include:

  • Increased understanding of coastal and marine habitats, including their biodiversity, social and economic values.

  • Establishing management priorities and managed threats to coastal and marine environments.

  • Establishing landscape linkages with integrity of coastal corridor protected and condition improved.

  • Establishing marine protected area system to preserve representative habitat and other values.

  • Water quality supports ecosystems and community use.

  • Sustainably managed recreational, commercial and traditional Aboriginal fisheries.

  • Integrated coastal zone management, linked with catchment and marine management.

  • Increased awareness, understanding and appreciation by the community of coastal and marine assets, values and management.

Goals 10+ years

GOAL C1:  Coastal Ecosystems:  Maintain and/or improve condition of coastal ecosystems at representative and/or priority sites by 2020 with quantifiable targets set by 2012.

GOAL C2:  Marine Ecosystems:  Maintain and/or improve condition of marine ecosystems at representative and/or priority sites by 2020 with quantifiable targets set by 2012.

Outcomes - 1-5 years

Measures and Monitoring

Outcome C1: Establish baseline data: Establish a monitoring program to inform baseline setting and detect change in coastal and marine ecosystems from current and potential threats by 2012.

Outcome C2: Increased knowledge: Knowledge of coastal and marine assets is increased by the expansion of a coastal and marine research program at priority areas for priority communities and/or species and to evaluate management actions by 2015.

Outcome C3: Control marine pests: Contribute to management of introduced coastal and marine pests and diseases at the local level through vigilance and monitoring by community and industry with implementation of effective risk management protocols and responses by 2015.

On-ground actions

Outcome C4: Improved condition: Coastal and marine systems are maintained and/or improved by implementing 25 per cent of priority actions from Southern Shores (South Coast Management Group 2009), by 2015.

Outcome C5: Climate change adaptation: Priority coastal and marine assets at risk from effects of climate change, sea level rise, storm surge and associated threats are identified and protected by the implementation of adaptive management responses by 2015.

Outcome C6: Coastal zone on-ground action and implementation: Integrated coastal zone management capacity increased by continuing the implementation of on-ground actions identified in regional and local coastal zone planning initiatives involving key coastal stakeholders by 2015.

Capacity building

Outcome C7: Increased information accessibility and application: Increase accessibility of information through development of a regional coastal and marine database with shared, validated, reviewed and up-to-date information applied to coastal and marine planning and management by 2015.

Outcome C8: Education and awareness: Engage coastal users, including 4WD drivers, motorcycle riders, youth, fishermen and surfers, to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of coastal and marine asset values and promote behavioural change through the development and implementation of a regional coastal and marine education and awareness program by 2012.

Planning and policy frameworks

Outcome C9: Marine planning and implementation: Marine management capacity increased by continuing integrated regional and local planning and implementation initiatives involving key stakeholders by 2015.

Outcome C10: Coastal zone planning and implementation: Coastal zone management capacity increased by continuing integrated regional and local planning and implementation initiatives involving key stakeholders by 2015.

Regional Capacity

The high value attached by the community to coastal areas and corresponding pressure from recreational use, means management of coastal reserves is high on Local Government Authorities' natural resource management priorities. 

The five government authorities within the region support and are members of the South Coast Management Group (SCMG), a regional local government and community group.

The SCMG was formed in the mid-1990s with a vision to bring together people, organisations and information, so South Coast communities were able to create working- partnership and improve the quality of the coastal and marine environment, resulting in environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Click the link to find out more about the SCMG: www.southcoastmanagementgroup.org.au

Community members have been involved in local-level coastal management projects to look after their own  ‘patch’, supported through partnerships with Local Government, State agency land managers and South Coast NRM coastal and marine staff.

Small grants for coastal projects have been sourced for projects through regional, statewide and national initiatives such as Coastwest/Coastcare and Southern Incentives: Southern Shores grants made available via South Coast NRM through NHT and the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country program.

On-ground actions have assisted the community and land managers in implementing local and regional coastal zone management plans. The recently reviewed regional coastal strategy Southern Shores 2009 - 2030 outlines future priority actions for the region’s coastal zone.

This, alongside review processes undertaken by several Local Government Authorities of local coastal management plans, ensures the region will be successful in achieving on-ground outcomes.

Coastal community volunteers and groups are well placed to carry out rehabilitation work and protect coastal and marine environments, but need to be supported and constantly resourced.

Community initiatives have greatly increased local knowledge of coastal marine environments.  The Recherché Advisory Group developed a research program with UWA which increased the knowledge base for marine management of the Recherché Archipelago. 

Additional community marine surveys have been undertaken at Cheyne Island near Wellstead and a monitoring program has been established at Greens Pool near Denmark, through the Salt Water Treasures program.

Fish movements have been studied through tagging key estuarine species by volunteer recreational fishers in the Wilson Inlet and Oyster Harbour, supported by Murdoch University and Recfishwest.

The Albany Senior High School marine science program has collected a decade’s worth of juvenile fish data and Denmark High School has recently commenced monitoring in Madfish Bay.

A South Coast marine education officer working as part of the Marine Discovery West team at the Department of Fisheries, conducts education programs through attendance, presentations and activities at primary and secondary schools, regional shows and festivals, community group meetings and fishing competitions.

There is also a regionwide coastal school holiday education program and school based program being implemented by South Coast NRM and partners.

There is an increasing capacity for enforcement of fisheries legislation with a number of fisheries officers recently being deployed in the region.

Partnerships established through previous projects between South Coast NRM, OceanWatch, SeaNet, the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council and the Department of Fisheries present opportunities for future projects in fisheries and marine NRM activities.

Baseline information collected through the Marine Futures project will allow for more efficient monitoring and reporting of marine assemblages. There are also opportunities for community involvement in deployment of BRUVs and Diver Operated Videos to build on the Marine Futures project data.

Discover Djeran!

  Discover Djeran

Coastwest Project Officer Melanie Stock and DEC'sTerry Goodman.

During April and May 2013, we trialled a new series of activities aimed at schoolchildren called Discover Djeran (Djeran is the Noongar ant season or season of the adulthood. Here's a summary of the activities we produced.

Reptile Encounter, April 24, 2013

DEC Ranger and avid herpetologist Mark True showcased reptiles of the local areas at Two Peoples Bay Visitor Centre. Snake skins, bones and photos added to the stories of these animals' lives. Participants got the chance to examine the sharp claws of King's skinks which help them climb trees and a number of snakes including the venomous crowned snake and bardick, and more familiar carpet pythons.

Tales of tallships, plants and scurvy, April 29, 2013

Presenter Peter Stewart guided an interactive learning experience about the early European explorers of Albany at Emu Point on Monday 29 April. Participants had the chance to enact the journeys of the captains, sailors and botanists as they encountered the wild Western Australian coast.

The events that led to the exploration of Albany by Europeans are an intricate tale of seamanship, leaking ships, courageous captains, and the luck of the weather. Intertwined within these tales was the skill of the botanists who 'discovered' new plant species with every step they took and behind all of this was the rivalry of the two most powerful nations at the time, England and France.

Coastcare site visit to Muttonbird Hill, April 30, 2013

Alexandra Tucker from the City of Albany showcased the successful outcomes of coastal rehabilitation works undertaken one year ago at an extensively damaged area between Muttonbird Beach and Sand Patch. The group discussed the environmental values of the area, damage and costs caused by reckless 4WD behaviour, dieback and fire.

Wetland Wonders, May 2, 2013

A watery wonderland was revealed at Lake Seppings, as participants got their hands wet exploring what lives in the freshwater. Presenters Patrick Gillespie and Adrian Chester supervised the sampling techniques and explained how the animals found tell a story about the health of the waterway. Participants had great fun and were excited to collect and examine their own shrimps, gambusia fish, damselfly larvae, snails, non-biting midge, beetles and dragonfly larvae.

Oyster Harbour Estuary Tour, May 4, 2013

The Oyster Harbour estuary is the bottom end of a 3000km2 catchment, draining the Kalgan and King rivers. Mark Waud from the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group began the tour with an overview of the catchment, environmental assets and landcare work undertaken over the past decades, with goals relating to the health of the rivers, estuary and seagrass within.

Community interest in the recent works in Albany's urban area along Yakamia Creek, which discharges into Oyster Harbour, was evident. Upstream along the Kalgan River, the friends' group Kalgan River Stewards' Don Tomlinson outlined dedicated rivercare efforts in the foreshore reserve.

The rehabilitation plan to bring back the native bush along the river was described by Peter Stewart from the City of Albany. Next stop was the Fish Traps at the top of Oyster Harbour. Elder Lynette Knapp shared her knowledge about use and family connections to the area.

The group then walked along the foreshore to the Lower King Bridge. Estuarine commercial fisher Grep Sharp spoke on his profession providing fresh fish to market and his observations of the estuary, including good recruitment of black bream following the 2005 floods. Final speaker was Tracy Calvert from the Department of Water who enlightened the group on the healthy state of the estuary.

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Email:info@southcoastnrm.com.au

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Opening hours
Mon – Fri 9am – 3pm
Contact details:
Tel: (08) 9845 8537
Fax: (08) 9845 8538
Email:info@southcoastnrm.com.au

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