Western Australia

Western Australia (WA) is by far the biggest state of Australia (and nearly four times the size of Texas) with a 20,781 kilometre coastline.

The Peel-Harvey Estuary lies 80 kilometers south of Perth, the WA state capital city. It is highly valued for its fishing, recreation, tourism and Aboriginal cultural heritage. It also supports important wetlands of international significance, especially for migratory waterbirds. The estuary spans 136 square kilometers of shallow, salty water. Four main rivers (the Peel, Serpentine, Murray and Harvey Rivers) flow into the estuary which has two narrow outlets (one natural and one man-made) to the Indian Ocean.

With funding from Alcoa Foundation, The Nature Conservancy has commenced a project in the Peel-Harvey Estuary. In its early phase the project is applying our international coastal risk reduction experts in consultation with community stakeholders to determine how the benefits of different nature-based approaches to coastal protection and climate change mitigation can be applied locally.

Following on from this, environmental social and economic data will be used to inform the development of a free, online restoration decision support tool and Conservation Action Plan for use by coastal managers and communities to help prioritize restoration actions for the project. The project will ultimately lead to a list of priority restoration sites and approaches, and a business case to implement nature-based approaches for coastal risk reduction and climate change management, delivered through public-private partnerships.

Black-winged Stilts feeding in mudflats in the Peel-Harvey Estuary. Photo Credit: David Rennie.

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Three Rivers, One Estuary

The Peel-Harvey Estuary Coastal Resilience project was launched, in partnership with the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council and Greening Australia, to improve the health of the Serpentine, Murray, and Harvey Rivers in the internationally recognized Peel Harvey Estuary.