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People, Plants and ….Pancakes!

PHCC Pancake Breakfast, Planting Demonstration and Seedling Give-away at Lake Clifton

PHCC Pancake Breakfast, Planting Demonstration and Seedling Give-away at Lake Clifton

In a positive step towards re-engaging the Lake Clifton and Herron community, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC) recently hosted a planting demonstration, pancake breakfast and seedling give-away at the Lake Clifton Herron Community Hall. Over 100 local residents turned out on a cold, Sunday morning to collect seedlings, eat pancakes and to share an affinity yarn with their neighbours.

Lake Clifton and Herron are adjacent to Yalgorup National Park.  The Park is a 12,888ha area of coastal land that includes Lake Clifton, Lake Preston and several other significant freshwater and saline lakes. The Yalgorup Lakes System is part of a site listed under the international Ramsar Convention on Wetlands protecting “Wetlands of International Significance”.

The Thrombolites of Lake Clifton represent some of the earliest forms of life on earth and are thought to be over 2000 years old. The Thrombolites are protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act and are listed as critically endangered. These “living rocks” grow less than 1mm a year and are built by photosynthesising micro-organisms whose limestone emissions create the dome structure of the Thrombolites.  The health of the Thrombolites is under threat with the salinity of the lake increasing and the seedling give-away is just one of many steps towards trying to improve the health of the Lake Clifton area.

For this seedling give-away morning, the Lake Clifton and Herron community were joined by PHCC board member, Paddi Creevey, PHCC staff and volunteers along with Jenny Rose from the Lake Clifton Herron Landcare Group who was thrilled with the community’s enthusiasm and sheer number of people who weathered the wintery morning.

1700 seedlings, with tree guards, were given to community members on the day and a pancake breakfast provided the community with a warm welcome on such a cold morning. Local business owner Wayne Goring from Arboreal Tree Care made a generous contribution and provided 40 landowners with a free load of mulch to give the seedlings a greater chance of surviving.

Feedback from the day showed that the Lake Clifton/Herron community thought the event was very well planned and they appreciated the opportunity to network with their neighbours.  One participant said “Very informative.  Great to see a community come together. (It) has been wonderful”.

The attendance of over 100 residents and landowners reflects the Lake Clifton and Herron community’s widespread interest in protecting the environment and their willingness to act now for the benefit of future generations.

By reconnecting with the community and distributing seedlings, PHCC hope to share the message of the importance of protecting not only the Thrombolites but the surrounding landscape as well.

This project is supported by the PHCC through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

 

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present

Waste Reduction Community Dinner

Youth on Leadership Group serving waste reduction dinner

Youth on Leadership Group serving waste reduction dinner

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council is partnering with The Makers to help deliver the first six months of The Makers’ Youth on Leadership Program. The Youth on Leadership Program will take on the theme of “Reducing Plastics in our Waterways”, empowering participants to design a campaign on ‘Reducing the use of single use plastics.’’

The annual program began this July with a six day leadership camp at Bickley Outdoor Recreation Camp. During the camp the leadership group was involved in interactive presentations and activities about the impacts of plastics in waterways and ways the group can empower themselves to take action.

There are 34 participants in The Makers’ Youth on Leadership program as well as 6 youth mentors.

During the camp the leadership group was set the challenge to create a Waste-Reduction Community Dinner.

The idea for a Waste-Reduction Community Dinner came about through the partnership with Peel-Harvey Catchment Council and The Makers.  It was identified as a way to raise awareness of the negative impacts of plastics and also as a great way to allow the Youth on Leadership group to put into action the new skills and knowledge gained at the Bickley camp. The group was issued the challenge to minimise plastic use for the camp dinner.

Sam Culbertson and Cara Williams from the Waste Authority provided activities for the group at the Bickley Camp that demonstrated different ways plastics can be eliminated from daily life.

The Waste-Reduction Community Dinner was held on the 7th July at the Billy Dower Centre in Mandurah.    92 people were invited to the dinner and were served an inspirational three course meal of bruschetta, vegetarian curry and apple strudel. Afterwards PHCC were responsible for composting the food scraps.

Some simple tips that help in reducing waste and plastics at home are:

  • Plan your meal so you purchase as close to exact amounts that you need
  • Create bins for compost and recyclables
  • Visit your local butcher and grocers and buy produce that isn’t wrapped in plastic
  • Avoid plastic bags; bring your own container and reusable bags when shopping
  • Always look for alternatives to buying items wrapped in plastic; buy items in re-useable packaging
  • Audit the plastic and waste that you create at the end of the meal and challenge yourself to do better next time

Andy Gulliver from PHCC said “We are thrilled to partner with The Makers for the Youth on Leadership program for the next six months. We believe in the importance of providing opportunities for youth to make their voice heard and take action on community issues they are passionate about. The Waste Reduction community dinner is just the start of the journey and we look forward to seeing and hearing about what this inspiring group creates over the course of the program.”

Supplies for the dinner were kindly donated by The Spudshed, The Glass Jar and Woolworths.

This project is supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program.

 

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

State Funding to Boost Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar Project

L-R: Paddi Creevey, Andy Gulliver, Bob Pond, Hon David Templeman MLA, Steve Fisher, Robyn Clarke MLA, Michael Schultz, Jordon Garbellini, Thelma Crook, Kelvin Barr

L-R: Paddi Creevey, Andy Gulliver, Bob Pond, Hon David Templeman MLA, Steve Fisher, Robyn Clarke MLA, Michael Schultz, Jordon Garbellini, Thelma Crook, Kelvin Barr

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council has been successful in securing $20,000 through the state Government’s new Local Projects, Local Jobs Program. This funding, allocated through the Peel Development Commission, will contribute to a larger PHCC project of international importance.

The McGowan Government has delivered on its election promise to fund Peel-Harvey Catchment Council on projects in catchment management.  A recent announcement to commit funds for the Local Projects, Local Jobs Program will provide a much needed boost to the Peel-Yalgorup “Saltmarshes of Ramsar 482: Understanding our Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar Values project.

The 26,500 hectare Peel-Yalgorup wetland system, including the estuary and lakes in the Yalgorup National Park, are wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. The saltmarshes of this system are also a federally-listed threatened ecological community (TEC).  It is important to monitor these features of the wetlands to protect them for future generations to enjoy.

Saltmarshes play a critical role in food webs and contain many different types of plants and animals including crustaceans, molluscs, worms and insects that form an important part of the diet of birds including species that migrate from the northern hemisphere during our summer.  Vegetation around the saltmarshes also provide important habitat for these birds and other native fauna.

This additional funding will enable botanical surveys at 18 sites throughout the wetland system, measuring the extent and composition of vegetation, with a focus on saltmarshes, using aerial monitoring and ground-truthing. This work will build on a preliminary survey by PHCC funded by the Australian Government though the National Landcare Program. The field-based botanical surveys will commence in October 2017. Results from the survey will be available as a final report through the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.

The PHCC will deliver this project and share the report with federal, state and local Government departments as well as the Peel-Yalgorup System Ramsar Technical Advisory Group. The results of the project will also be communicated to the local community through field days and workshops.

According to the Chairperson of PHCC, Andy Gulliver “The funds will enable a more detailed assessment of the  saltmarshes and other vegetation in the Ramsar site and give us a benchmark against which we can measure how we are doing in protecting these irreplaceable natural assets.”

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council would like to acknowledge that funding for this project was made possible through the Peel Development Commission, the Australian Government and the Government of Western Australia.

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

 

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present

Fighting Feral Animals in our Upper Catchment

Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews with PHCC’s Darralyn Ebsary at the Farmers 4 Fauna Launch

Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews with PHCC’s Darralyn Ebsary at the Farmers 4 Fauna Launch

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC) was excited to host Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews to launch two new exciting projects in our upper catchment.

The two projects focus on feral animal control, specifically feral cats. To date feral cats endanger at least 142 native species, more than one third of our threatened mammals, reptiles, frogs and birds.

Included in this list are two small iconic Western Australian mammals, the numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus) and the woylie (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi). Both of these species are listed as endangered with the proposed Dryandra Woodland National Park being home to one of the few remaining natural populations of both species.

Department of Parks and Wildlife are continuing work to help restore and maintain healthy populations of numbats and woylies within Dryandra Woodland through building a new predator proof compound and programs such as Western Shield, along with other initiatives. Adjacent landholders are also working with the department, and now the PHCC to undertake feral animal control on their properties, which helps to give these endangered species a fighting chance.

In recognition of this and in an effort to complement the efforts of Parks and Wildlife, in April 2017 the PHCC confirmed their support of two projects which focus on feral cat and fox control on land close to and surrounding the Dryandra Woodland.

The first project, Farmers 4 Fauna, focuses on supporting private landholders neighbouring Dryandra. On the 6th of April over 30 landholders, local and state Government partners and the Threatened Species Commissioner gathered at Barna Mia Animal Sanctuary to learn more about the project and engage with the presenters from DAFWA, Parks and Wildlife, Project Numbat and PHCC.

The second project involves a partnership with the Shire of Cuballing to manage feral cat monitoring and removal at Popanyinning Waste Disposal Site. This project was launched on site the same day with Mr Andrews, Shire of Cuballing CEO and Councillors, WA Feral Animal Management representatives and PHCC representatives.

PHCC Chairman Andy Gulliver said – “The PHCC was delighted to have the Threatened Species Commissioner come to WA to launch these exciting projects. Feral cats have such a significant impact on our native wildlife, and also detrimentally affect agricultural productivity so it was an easy decision to support these initiatives.  We look forward to working with our project partners and landholders to help save some of our most iconic native marsupials that we are so fortunate to have in our catchment, and we want to ensure that our children and grandchildren still have the chance to see our treasured furry friends in the wild”.

These projects are supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

 

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present

Community Environment Grants Announced

Volunteers Jo Garvey, Bayden Smith and others planting at Bindjareb Park

Volunteers Jo Garvey, Bayden Smith and others planting at Bindjareb Park

Following the success of the 2015 Community Environment grants project, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council is pleased to announce Round 2 of funding opportunities for individual grants of up to $50,000.

Community Environment Grants are funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme to support local communities with projects that protect and enhance natural assets in the Peel-Harvey Catchment.

Community groups and individuals are encouraged to submit applications for funding for on-ground activities that maintain or enhance threatened species habitat, threatened ecological communities, migratory species, regionally significant species habitat (or communities) or the ecological character of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar site.

Priority funding will be given to individuals and groups to undertake activities to protect these areas through fencing, weed control and feral animal control.

All activities must be undertaken within the Peel-Harvey Catchment and be completed by March 30 2018.

To discuss a proposal please contact Jo Garvey on 6369 8800 or email jo.garvey@peel-harvey.org.au

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

 

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present

“Inspiring” wetlands group meets for the 11th year running

Members of the Ramsar Technical Advisory Group

Members of the Ramsar Technical Advisory Group

Members of the Peel-Yalgorup System Ramsar Technical Advisory Group came together recently for their annual meeting. The dedicated wetlands group enters its 11th year with members full of enthusiasm and a broad range of initiatives underway.

The 26,500 hectare Peel-Yalgorup wetland system, including the estuary and lakes in the Yalgorup National Park, are designated wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. Topics discussed at the annual meeting related to the management and monitoring of this complex and significant site.

The Peel-Yalgorup System Ramsar Technical Advisory Group (TAG) was established in 2007 and involves 27 stakeholder organisations who work collaboratively to manage this wetland system.

Senior Bindjareb Elder Harry Nannup opened the meeting by welcoming the group to Noongar country. Mr Nannup emphasised how keen he is to work with the TAG members on matters relating to the estuary and wetlands.

Presentations were made by TAG members on planning, on-ground works and monitoring activities across the Peel-Yalgorup wetland system. Key projects discussed at the meeting included:

  • the Lake McLarty Action Plan,
  • ongoing recovery actions at Lake Mealup,
  • Austin Bay and Roberts Bay Reserves on-ground works,
  • increasing salinity of Lake Clifton and implications for the Thrombolite Recovery Group,
  • the Regional Estuaries Initiative,
  • the Marine Stewardship Council’s accreditation of the estuary’s commercial and recreational fishery,
  • annual Shorebird 2020 report on waterbird numbers and
  • the new Wetlands and People project.

Dr Fiona Valesini, from Murdoch University, presented on the Australian Research Council Linkage project; balancing estuarine and societal health in a changing environment. Dr Valesini has said the research would help to deliver the types of benefits the growing population in the area needs and wants while minimising the downstream effects on the natural assets provided by the estuary, like good water quality and fishing.

Dr Rhonda Butcher from Water’s Edge Consulting explained the Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Framework, for which the Peel-Yalgorup System has been chosen as a case study. Dr Butcher is considered a leader in Australian Ramsar site management having led major programs across all Australian Ramsar sites over the past 17 years.

The meeting concluded with a special mention from Dr Butcher, “This TAG is very different to many others I have worked with. The ongoing, highly collaborative approach is very progressive. The work you are doing is inspiring and it is awesome that you have a CEPA (Communication, Education and Awareness) Plan- the only one I know of for an individual site”.

To view a new information sheet about the Peel-Yalgorup System, its management objectives and Ramsar convention information visit the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council website: http://www.peel-harvey.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Ramsar-482-TAG-Info-Sheet.pdf.

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council facilitates the meetings held in March each year. The Peel-Yalgorup System Ramsar 482 TAG is supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Australian Government’ s National Landcare Programme.

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

 

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council contributes to nationwide bird count

PHCC’s Kim Wilson counting birds at Lake Preston

PHCC’s Kim Wilson counting birds at Lake Preston

Shorebirds across the Ramsar listed Peel-Yalgorup System (Internationally recognised as Ramsar Site 482) have been counted and assessed, as part of the annual Shorebird 2020 Count which was facilitated by Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC), in partnership with Birdlife Peel branch.

The count spanned 26,000 hectares of the Peel-Yalgorup system, and involved 17 teams and 66 volunteers, with the Count continuing across the nation through to 2020.

Whilst locally, much of the counting took place over two weeks, the official count day was held on Sunday 5 February, with the band of volunteers from the local community, Birdlife WA, Birdlife WA Peel branch, PHCC staff, Murdoch University, the WA Museum, and representatives from the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

PHCC Chairman Andy Gulliver said the Peel-Yalgorup system represents one of 150 sites forming part of the Count across the nation, and provides vital data regarding the population trends of shorebirds in Australia.

“Peel-Harvey Catchment Council has been involved with the Count for the past 9 years.  Ahead of the count we work with Birdlife WA Peel Branch to facilitate ID training workshops to ensure our volunteers are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to help carry out the Count.”

“The Peel Yalgorup System is an integral part of the East-Asian Australasian Flyway, with global data suggesting Shorebirds using this Flyway are under great threat from habitat damage, and are being impacted by urban development and associated recreational activities.  The Count helps with our conservation efforts, providing an understanding of the factors affecting declining populations and environmental impacts,” Mr Gulliver said.

A prime feeding ground and habitat for migratory shorebirds arriving each Spring from Siberia, China, Japan and Korea, the Peel-Yalgorup System (Ramsar 482) regularly supports 20,000 or more waterbirds, and serves as home to >1% of the individuals in a species population.

PHCC CEO Jane O’Malley said the Count is part of the implementation of the Peel-Yalgorup System Management Plan, with preparations beginning well before the Count does.

“Our process commences three months beforehand, so we can attract our wonderful volunteers and work with Count team leaders. Some of our volunteer citizen scientists have been involved with the Count for over 20 years.  We also fund and organise the ID workshops, which for 9 years have been delivered by Bill Rutherford of Ornithological Technical Services, and play an important role in getting the Count right,” Ms O’Malley said.

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council will now collate the data, and provide this to Birdlife Australia, helping to inform national population trends, and assist with information around what is driving any population changes locally and across the nation.

Participation in the Count was made possible with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.  For more information about the Shorebird 2020 Count visit www.peel-harvey.org.au

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

 

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present.

Peel Unites for Waterways Clean-up

2016 Clean Up at Cantwell Park, Pinjarra

2016 Clean Up at Cantwell Park, Pinjarra

This March brings the second annual ‘Clean Up Peel Waterways’ month with a number of clean up events on offer for community members to be involved in. The clean-up month is an initiative of the Friends of Rivers, Peel and supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Government’s National Landcare Programme.  Events are held in conjunction with Clean Up Australia Day and is designed to increase community involvement in cleaning up our Peel Waterways and surrounds.

Barry Small of Friends of River, Peel said the clean-up month will see 19 groups participating, each holding individual events that focus on waterways and surrounds within their specific location.

“Increasing rubbish and litter dumped in the water or on foreshores, is putting the sustainability of the Peel Region waterways at risk.  The multiple clean ups held throughout the month provide us, as a community, with an opportunity to come together for a worthy cause, ultimately enhancing our environment,” Mr Small said.

Events are focussed on the waterways feeding into the Peel-Harvey Estuary and will be held in a range of locations including Pinjarra, Falcon Bay, South Yunderup and Riverside Gardens.

For more information a full list of activities being held during Clean-Up Peel Waterways month, visit our events page at www.peel-harvey.org.au

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

Environmental Protection continues for Peel-Harvey

Parks and Wildlife District Nature Conservation Coordinator Dr Karl Brennan and Acting Nature Conservation Officer Megan Sheehan, welcome assistance to help manage these valued reserves

Parks and Wildlife District Nature Conservation Coordinator Dr Karl Brennan and Acting Nature Conservation Officer Megan Sheehan, welcome assistance to help manage these valued reserves

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council has joined forces with the State’s Department of Parks and Wildlife to protect and preserve nationally threatened ecological communities in the Watkins Road and Bradby Nature Reserves in Mundijong and Serpentine.

The projects have been made possible through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

At Watkins Road Nature Reserve, work is to be undertaken to target the invasive weed Watsonia, whilst at Bradby Nature Reserve, weed control not only focuses on Watsonia, but also African Lovegrass, Victorian Tea Tree, and Tagasaste.

Parks and Wildlife District Nature Conservation Coordinator Dr. Karl Brennan said the Watkins Road Nature Reserve project also aims to assist recovery of the nationally listed and threatened plant, Southern Tetraria.

“There are many of these plants spread over 17 hectares, and they are very rare to our State and nation, so rare in fact, that at one point, the plant was thought to be extinct,” Dr. Brennan said.

According to Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s Chairman Andy Gulliver, the objective of the projects is to protect and preserve the areas with threatened flora, listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

“We are pleased to have received funding from the Australian Government to carry out this type of conservation work on behalf of the Peel-Harvey community, ensuring that these nature reserves continue to be managed for future generations,” Mr Gulliver said.

For further information about the work of the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council or to find out how you can help their cause, visit http://www.peel-harvey.org.au.

ENDS

Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

 

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council to Increase Community Commitment for Wetlands

Craig Olejnik

Craig Olejnik and his son meet Mr Percival

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council will take their commitment to encouraging a ‘wetlands wise’ community up a notch over the coming months with the launch of their project ‘Supporting people for wetland wise use in the Peel-Harvey’.

Made possible through a State NRM Capability Grant, the project is designed to focus on some of the key priorities of the PHCC’s ‘Wetlands and People Plan’, and will involve a comprehensive community consultation campaign, with involvement from young people across the Region.

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s CEO Jane O’Malley said around 20 young people will be involved in developing a major social media marketing plan, designed to reach their peers across the Peel-Harvey catchment.

“Our Wetlands and People Plan forms the foundation of all we do to keep the Peel-Harvey’s Ramsar listed Peel-Yalgorup Wetland System and other local wetlands healthy. We seek to engage and educate all of our different stakeholders in our cause, with young people representing the future leaders of this Region,” Ms O’Malley said.

The ambitious campaign will go beyond simple information exchange, and seek to shift social norms, leading to improvements to wetland health across the community.

PHCC Chair Andy Gulliver said the PHCC will work with local governments and regional organisations in the area, to deliver the program, and increase the public’s capacity to make a difference through environmental education,

“Our plan includes various strategies to connect with our diverse range of stakeholders.”

“We will deliver thought-provoking activities designed to create a more active, engaged, aware and informed community, in a bid to improve the health of our ecosystem over the longer term,” Mr Gulliver said.

The program will include wetlands-themed art and environmental events and activities, developed with our local Noongar community, which embraces local traditional knowledge. Community members will also be invited to participate in citizen science projects to gather wetlands data and knowledge about our wetlands.

“Supporting people for wetland wise use in the Peel-Harvey’ is an exciting project. Our series of communication, education and participative actions will encourage community members across the Peel-Harvey Catchment to join in our cause, for wetland wise use now and in the future.” Mr Gulliver said.

The project began in January and will run over 18 months.

ENDS

Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present

 

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