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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
2 February 2005
Two vital wetland areas in Western Australia and South Australia will be better protected thanks to $120,000 in funding, announced today by Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.
Marking World Wetlands Day at the Western Australian Wetlands Management Conference at Bibra Lake, Senator Campbell announced the funding would be directed toward the enhancement of water quality improvement plans for Peel-Harvey Estuary in Western Australia and Port Waterways in South Australia.
Peel-Harvey Estuary, part of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar wetland, is a vital area that supports more than 20,000 water birds. Port Waterways, including Port River Estuary and Barker Inlet, contains numerous diverse and important aquatic ecosystems including mangrove stands, salt marshes, tidal flats and sea grass beds currently threatened by declining water quality.
Funding announced today complements an earlier Australian Government commitment of $685,000 for four Coastal Catchments Initiative projects in Western Australia and South Australia. It will ensure the evaluation of management options for Peel-Harvey catchment modelling and comprehensive monitoring of catchment discharges to Port Waterways.
“Protecting our coastal wetlands means addressing the effects of catchment activities on these vital water bird habitats,” Senator Campbell said.
“The Coastal Catchments Initiative is a national program of the Natural Heritage Trust, designed specifically for this purpose.”
Under the Coastal Catchments Initiative, water quality improvement plans are developed to improve water quality in coastal wetlands.
The Coastal Catchments Initiative is also being used to improve water quality in the Ramsar-listed Moreton Bay in Queensland; the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef; and the Derwent Estuary in Tasmania.
Development of plans for Victoria's Ramsar-listed Port Phillip Bay and Western Port will soon commence.
More information on the Coastal Catchments Initiative, administered by the Department of the Environment and Heritage, is available online at www.deh.gov.au/coasts/pollution/cci.
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434