The launch was well supported by representatives from key local and State Government agencies and community stakeholders.
WIMS follows on from and builds on the Wilson Inlet Nutrient Reduction Action Plan (WINRAP) 2003, which established a plan to reduce algal coverage in the Wilson Inlet through a five-year program of nutrient reduction. The 2003 plan was formulated due to concerns by the community that the inlet’s health was deteriorating.
Through community consultation and the gathering of technical advice, the scope of WIMS was broadened. The major pressures and threats affecting the health of the Wilson Inlet’s ecosystem were identified as (in no particular order);
• Nutrient levels and nutrient cycling within the Inlet
• Climate change
• Development and infrastructure around the Inlet foreshore and surrounding areas
• Changing land use within the catchment
• Water competition
• Soil acidity
• Introduced invasive species including domestic animals
• Diseases and pathogens
Key targets of WIMS are:
• Reduction in nutrient concentrations from all sources to achieve downward trend
– Catchment sources
– Rural sources
– Urban sources
• Protect and enhance biodiversity within the catchment
• Water bodies fenced to prevent livestock access
– A 50% increase in fencing of remaining unfenced water bodies from 2009 Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee (WICC) mapped fencing
• Develop mitigation plans for climate change
• Plan and Implement better water resource use and reuse efficiency
– Stormwater management
– Retrofit water efficiency
• Waste Water Treatment Plants to be utilising reuse options for treated waste water
– For Denmark Waste Water Treatment Plant to commit to a plan to cease effluent discharge into the Inlet
– Waste Water Treatment Plants to utilize efficient reuse
The purpose of WIMS is to protect, maintain and where possible, enhance the ecological health of the Inlet through a 10-year program of nutrient reduction, balancing water needs for all users of the Inlet and surrounding catchment as well as maintaining and where possible, enhancing habitat for native flora and fauna.
At the launch Terry Redman said “The Wilson Inlet and surrounding areas are under pressure from a range of factors including changing land uses, drying climate, development and nutrient loads as a result of a growing population. The Inlet is a highly valued waterway and it is crucial that a comprehensive management plan is in place to protect its future.”
“The development of the Wilson Inlet Management Strategy has been a huge collaborative effort taking over a year to complete,” John Rodgers WICC Chairperson said. “It was a great to have so
many organisations and local government at the launch showing their support and commitment to looking after the future health of the Wilson Inlet.”
Where to from here?
Implementing the recommendations of WIMS will take place over the next ten years. In some instances, actions are already underway. It is proposed to take a cooperative approach to implementing WIMS with Local and State Government, industry, community and interest groups responsible for working together to ensure that recommendations are completed. WICC as a key natural resource management group in the catchment will take a lead role in the implementation of WIMS and its progress. However on-going funding is essential for the success of the WIMS.
End of media release.
Contact: Elissa Stewart NRM Officer Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee
Caption for attached photo: Representatives from; Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee, Shire of Denmark, Water Corporation, South Coast NRM, Shire of Plantagenet, Department of Water, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Fisheries, Department of Agriculture and Food, City of Albany as well as Terry Redman local member for Warren-Blackwood and guest speaker Dr Anne Brearley showing support for the Wilson Inlet Management Strategy.