Estuary reflections

As NACC’s Healthy Estuaries project enters its second year, the NACC Coastal and Marine team have been reflecting on how much the project has grown since inception, and looking ahead to new opportunities in 2018.
Community volunteers exploring the new Healthy Estuaries online data portal.

Thanks to funding from the Department of Planning Lands and Heritage’s Coastwest Grants Program the Healthy Estuaries project has engaged 25 volunteers contributing more than 200 hours in estuary monitoring events and community workshops in the Moore and Hill River estuaries. Two community capacity-building workshops and nine estuary monitoring events have also been conducted – in Guilderton and Jurien Bay.

NACC Coastal and Marine team members Hamish and Vanessa using the new estuary monitoring kayaks.

Healthy Estuaries has developed into a solid project in which there is a growing interest from community members,” said NACC Coastal and Marine Project Manager Hamish Longbottom.

Many volunteers have come to help on the project with relatively little understanding of estuary processes, but are now in the position to share their knowledge with other Coastcare volunteers as a result of having worked side-by-side with water science professionals.

“Support from staff at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has been instrumental to the success of the project,” said Hamish.

Yued Elder Charlie Shaw officially opens the Healthy Estuaries community workshop at Jurien Bay in 2016.

“Healthy Estuaries is all about gathering and sharing the best-available information – from everyone involved in the project including Traditional Owners, water experts and citizen scientists.”

One of the biggest developments of the project was an innovative cross-country collaboration with new partners on the other side of the country. Learning from the EstuaryWatch project in Victoria, the NACC team decided to establish a public data portal as an essential outcome of the project. Those interested can check-out the estuary data collected under the Healthy Estuaries project by going to www.healthyestuaries.com.au (Note: Visitors to the site are asked to be patient as it is still under development, but opening soon).

Hamish said the response from the community has been “better than expected, and the NACC Coastal and Marine team are looking forward to what 2018 will bring to the project.”

To learn more about the project, please go to https://www.nacc.com.au/project/healthy-estuaries/

NACC’s Healthy Estuaries project is made possible through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, and Department of Planning Lands and Heritage’s Coastwest grants program.

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