The Hill River Estuary is significant as the last example of an unmodified bar-controlled estuarine ecosystem on the west coast of Western Australia.
It is however increasingly threatened by uncontrolled access, particularly by off-road vehicles. The system has never been systematically surveyed or mapped for its biodiversity values and at present it lacks a management plan.
That is until now.
With thanks to funding from NACC’s Coastal Community Grants, the team at Conservation Council WA has been able to partner with Tending the Tracks alliance (TTTa) to undertake a systematic ‘values and condition’ survey of vegetation, fish and terrestrial vertebrate fauna.
Last month a party of TTTa citizen science volunteers and Murdoch University fish biologists – headed up by Dr James Tweedley – completed the first phase of surveys along the Hill River Estuary.
To this end volunteers and professionals alike participated in fish and aquatic invertebrate monitoring, spotlighting, bird surveying and additional marine debris and feral animal monitoring.
The team sentiment by the end of the weekend’s immersion in the beauty of the river and estuary was a sense of ‘we must do all we can to save this place”.
The next step will be a Hill River Estuary Planning and Management Workshop to be held at Jurien Bay on 17 November 2019 at the Jurien Bay Civic Centre with 1.30pm start – afternoon tea provided. The facilitator – well known to so many – will be Dr Mic Payne and the vent is opne to the local community.
For more information contact Alison Goundrey on [email protected] or visit https://www.facebook.com/tendingthetracksalliance/photos/a.2039399819710915/2350336591950568/?type=3&theater
TTTa also works on the ground along the NAR coastal zone as a mobile volunteer work force with land managers and local coast carers with projects at Cervantes, Greenhead and the Wedge – Grey Coastal track, with this larger scope of works supported by the State Government’s State Natural Resource Management Program.