The idyllic Hardy Inlet is a recreational and tourism draw card for the town of Augusta. The estuary has one of largest catchment areas in the south-west corner of Western Australia, receiving freshwater flow from both the Blackwood and the Scott Rivers.
For the past two years the Lower Blackwood Land Conservation District Committee has been working with catchment landholders to improve the health of the inlet through a range of on-ground works including the fencing and revegetation of waterways, management of stock access to waterways and soil and pasture tissue testing for nutrient analysis.
This work has been enabled through the Regional Estuaries Initiative – a $20 million State Government program, led by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, to improve the health of six key regional estuaries.
The LCDC’s Joanna Wren said local landholders had been enthusiastic in their participation in the project.
"The collaboration to date has resulted in the installation of 24.1 kilometres of fencing to protect waterways and remnant vegetation, the planting of 9.3 hectares of waterways revegetation and the whole farm soil testing or planned testing of 46 properties,” she said.
“Landowners have already seen the benefits of their work through improvements to farm infrastructure, improved biodiversity and wildlife corridors, and reduced bank erosion plus the wider community benefit of contributing to the improvement of water quality in the Blackwood River and its tributaries.”
There is still currently funding available for eligible landholders to fence off their creeklines and drains and locals wishing to participate in the REI Waterways Restoration project can contact Joanna Wren at the Lower Blackwood LCDC for more information via 0408 584 006 of email firstname.lastname@example.org