Protecting the ecological health of the Margaret River
Nature Conservation’s Wooditjup Bilya Protection Program aims to protect the ecological health of the Margaret River. In November 2017 a Wooditjup Bilya Collaborative Group was formed with the agreed purpose of facilitating information sharing, improving communications and coordinating management for the Margaret River. Facilitated by Nature Conservation in partnership with the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, the Collaborative Group represents State agencies, local government, community and indigenous custodians and has worked to develop a 10 year Wooditjup Bilya Protection Strategy to protect the river and its catchment.
Wooditjup Bilya Protection Strategy
The Wooditjup Bilya Collaborative Group have had a productive year working together to protect, manage and enhance the health of the Margaret River and surrounds. Working from the management actions detailed in the Wooditjup Bilya Protection Strategy, the group have met throughout the year to discuss their collaborative approach to managing environmental challenges across the catchment. This has included the establishment of a Keep Watch water quality monitoring program, strategic weed management and working together to increase environmental conservation in sensitive areas. This interagency collaboration has brought together a diversity of specialist knowledge and skill sets as well as further enhancing communication and collaboration between key agencies responsible for the care and management of the river.
The group have continued to work together to raise community awareness of the values of Wooditjup Bilya and the challenges it faces in a changing landscape. A coordinated communication plan was developed during the year, with key opportunities identified to enhance community knowledge of the river and provide greater opportunities for the community to connect with Wooditjup Bilya. There has also been support from member agencies for the school’s education program with the provision of specialist presenters.
Looking forward to 2021, the group will continue to work together on broad scale issues, including further consideration of the recovery of threatened fauna as well as discussing a coordinated approach to feral animal control and responsible pet ownership issues across the Wooditjup Bilya catchment.
Wooditjup Bilya Protection Strategy – 2020 Community Update Film
Foreshore planning and management
In parallel Nature Conservation continues to update detailed action planning for the foreshores of the Margaret River. A review of the Margaret River Action Plan (2003) and Ecological Linkages in the Margaret River Agricultural Zone Project (2016) has been completed and a Lower Margaret River Foreshore Reserve Action Plan for the river foreshore between town to coast prepared on behalf of the Shire of Augusta Margaret River. The scope of this planning work is to provide a detailed description of the current condition of the foreshores of the Margaret River and make recommendations on the management required to ensure the values, attributes and functions of the Margaret River reserves are protected and conserved.
Nature Conservation also continues its annual program of targeted on ground action to build resilience in the foreshores of the Margaret River. Informed by the action planning described above, Nature Conservation delivers a program of weed control and revegetation in partnership with the Shire of Augusta Margaret River. Further detail of this work can be found under the Coordinated Weed Control Program and the Threatened Species Protection Program
Project Officer: Michelle Keppel