The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council is gearing up for the Wetlands Weekender, a two-day festival to be held on the weekend of October 10-11.
The festival will be packed with art markets, birdwatching activities, cultural storytelling, a citizen science clean-up, a movie night, music and entertainment, and various wetland tours designed to showcase the natural beauty and fragility of the Peel-Harvey estuary, lakes and nature reserves.
The Wetlands Weekender is held in October each year, coinciding with International Migratory Bird Day, to acknowledge the vital role our wetlands play in providing food and refuge for rare and endangered shorebirds that migrate back and forth between the northern and southern hemisphere each year.
The importance of the Peel-Yalgorup Wetlands System, which includes the Peel-Harvey Estuary, Lakes McLarty and Mealup and the Yalgorup Lakes was recognised internationally under the Ramsar Convention in 1990 as Ramsar Site 482.
This year's festival is therefore a double celebration, marking the 30th anniversary of this international recognition.
The chair of Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Caroline Knight said: "We are thrilled to be celebrating this important 30-year milestone with the community through the Wetlands Weekender Festival. We hope that people of all ages will enjoy the fun activities planned this year and also get a better appreciation of how diverse and fragile our beautiful wetlands are".
The first day of the festival includes special events themed around the birds and watery features of the wetland starting with an afternoon estuary cruise followed by a nature walk which will include dolphin watching and birdwatching activities led by expert guides.
In the evening, the Australian classic Storm Boy (2019) will be screened at Reading Movie Cinemas Mandurah along with a birthday celebration for our Ramsar 482 site.
On Sunday morning Coodanup Foreshore will come alive with Wonders of the Wetland, a family-friendly event which includes a selection of vibrant market stalls with quality arts and crafts from local artists.
There will assortment of entertainment from live music, cultural storytelling, and children's activities throughout the day.
There's even a Dog's Breakfast with a free sausage sizzle for dog owners and a meal for their dog! Dog owners can learn how they can enjoy local walks around the wetlands while protecting local wildlife.
Pave the Way Clean-Up is the final event, a hands-on activity helping to clean up the Coodanup foreshore to pave the way for migratory shorebirds that arrive at the wetlands at this time of year.
The Clean-Up will be followed by a free lunch for participants from local food vans.
For more information and a full program of the festival visit peel-harvey.org.au/wetlands-weekender/
This project is supported by Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program/Regional Land Partnerships.