Peel-Harvey Catchment Council launches new plan to protect wetlands

Plan launch: Aboriginal locals Franklyn and Harry Nannup helped celebrate the launch of the
Plan launch: Aboriginal locals Franklyn and Harry Nannup helped celebrate the launch of the "Wetlands and People Plan". Photo: Supplied.

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council has launched an Australian-first action plan to help protect the region’s wetland system, including the Peel-Harvey Estuary.

The Peel-Yalgorup System Wetlands and People Plan is a significant step towards “wise use” of the region’s waterways, which are the basis of the economy of the Peel Region, and so valued by the community and visitors, according to the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.

About 50 people came together as WA Science Ambassador Professor Lyn Beazley launched the plan, which was described as a “watershed moment”.

“The PHCC and its partners have created Australia’s only site-specific stand-alone CEPA action plan under our international obligations to the Ramsar Convention,” PHCC Chairman, Andy Gulliver said.

“It has taken many years of persistent effort and commitment.

“The launch of the plan is a watershed moment for our community.

“Over time it will change the way we think about and value our natural assets.”

Natalie Goddard from Mandurah Cruises spoke at the launch to describe the economic contribution the Estuary made to the local tourism industry.

“We get to showcase this place, like nowhere else in the world, to 100,000 visitors every year,” she said.

“The visitors want to experience nature, the dolphins, plentiful fish and a healthy ecosystem.”

The plan’s four goals aim to create a brighter long-term future for the wetlands through encouraging wise-use, well-informed decision making, active stewardship and advocacy across all sectors.

The plan will also help the Australian Government meet its obligations as signatories to a number of international agreements, the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council said.

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