This section collates all of the information that Esperance Regional Forum (ERF) has supported or initiated over the years.
About Esperance Regional Forum
Esperance Regional Forum Inc (ERF) evolved from the Esperance Land Conservation District Committee (ELCDC). ERF’s mission was to work with the community and landholders to “sustain Esperance’s natural assets”. Proving a forum for natural Resource Management (NRM), which supported the adoption of sustainable land management practices within the Esperance Region.
Esperance Regional Forum worked with stakeholders to deliver a range of projects, which assisted in the restoration and rehabilitation of degraded land and catchments. Projects have focused on the protection of high environmental, social or economic areas, including Stokes Inlet and the internationally significant Lake Warden and Lake Gore wetlands.
Due to the lack of participation and interest for the committee, ERF decided to discontinue in 2018.
Lake Warden & Lake Gore Project
Lake Warden and Lake Gore are two internationally recognised, RAMSAR listed, wetlands situated in the Esperance region. The wetlands provide important habitats that regularly support 20 000 water birds, from nearly 30 different species. Some species are rare and endangered; some migrate halfway around the world, while others are permanent residents.
Both lakes have significant values that face a range of threats including:
- Land management practices;
- Erosion and sedimentation;
- Eutrophication and poor water quality;
- Invasive species;
- Altered hydrology; and
- Lack of community understanding.
Projects were developed to protect Lake Warden’s and Lake Gore’s natural flora and fauna, from the harmful impacts of excess water within wetlands. Land clearing of native vegetation within catchments are causing water levels to rise, diminishing shorelines available for wading birds to live, mate and feed.
The Lake Warden Recovery Catchment Project successfully achieved 480ha of native revegetation and 4762ha of perennial pasture revegetation.
South Coast NRM is currently delivering projects in the Ramsar wetlands. You can find more information on this project here.
Benwenerup – the Stokes Inlet Project
The Stokes Inlet is known as Benwenerup by the Traditional Custodians, relating to a dream time story for the area of the eagle. The 14 km2 inlet is fed by Lort and Young River, creating a catchment area of 500 000ha. The area is a popular fishing and camping location, valued for it’s beauty and serenity.
The catchment has been extensively cleared, up to 65-70 percent, with the project focus on soil management, to increase ground cover and reduce erosion. The Young River catchment achieved 250ha of native revegetation, 74ha of perennial pasture revegetation and 111.4kms of waterway protection fencing.
A management plan was developed for the Inlet in 2008 and can be downloaded here.
Skills for Sustainability
Esperance Regional Forum introduced sustainable land management skills for small landholders in 2016. The four case studies included:
Educating the Next Generation
Esperance Regional Forum worked in conjunction with South Coast NRM and the Esperance Bird Observer’s Group to deliver a Schools Education Program, promoting biodiversity education and awareness within schools in the Eastern South Coast region.
The program aimed to:
- Help students and teachers to understand the impacts of human activity and climate change on biodiversity, wetlands and rivers.
- Engage students and teachers in the natural environment, through a participation style model, which increased their understanding and interest.
- Use student activities to seed community-wide interest in the local natural environment.
- To increase student interest in science by applying real science and math in a local context.
Since the program started in March 2008, more than 90% (15 schools) in the eastern South Coast region have become involved. Students gained a genuine appreciation for the natural environment in their local area and a passion for science. Teachers expressed outstanding benefits to their students and appreciated having access to outside expertise to help deliver the science curriculum.
The school equipment is currently being maintained by South Coast NRM and is available to borrow by contacting the Esperance Office. Online resources can be found at https://southcoastnrm.com.au/downloads/educational-packs-2
Find out more
If you would like to find out more about natural resource management in the Esperance area contact:
South Coast NRM Esperance Office
08 9076 2200
Or drop in to see us at Unit 4 113 Dempster Street in Esperance.