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    10067: Keeping Geographe Bay OK – reducing nutrients from urban areas

    Sea sponges are an important part of the marine ecology of Geographe Bay. The health of these along with the large seagrass meadows are monitored as part of this project. Courtesy Peter Barnes, Geographe Catchment Council Inc.
    Sea sponges are an important part of the marine ecology of Geographe Bay. The health of these along with the large seagrass meadows are monitored as part of this project. Courtesy Peter Barnes, Geographe Catchment Council Inc.

    Geographe Bay has been identified as a national coastal Hotspot. It is a proposed state marine park and supports extensive and diverse seagrass meadows (the second largest area in WA) that provide vital habitat for fish and other marine fauna.

    In addition to its ecological values, the bay is a highly valued public asset for its recreational and cultural amenities. The internationally significant Vasse-­Wonnerup wetlands, located within the bay, are listed as an important waterbird habitat under the Ramsar Convention.

    Both Geographe Bay and the Vasse-Wonnerup wetlands are under threat from increased nutrient run-off from the catchment. The Vasse-Wonnerup water quality improvement plan (WQIP) predicts that nutrients are likely to increase due to expanding urbanisation in the catchment unless preventive measures are taken.

    With the help of State NRM Program funding, this project will help implement the Vasse-Wonnerup WQIP by assisting the broader community to reduce nutrients entering Geographe Bay. This will be done by:  

    • improving urban fertiliser management through gardening workshops
    • building resilience in urban wetlands to improve their nutrient-stripping capacity from urban run-off
    • monitoring seagrass to gauge the condition of the meadows and the impact of nutrients on their health
    • Increasing awareness of the values and management of Geographe Bay.
    Investment: $ 45 500
    Delivery organisation: Geographe Catchment Council Inc.
    Project duration: August 2011 - December 2012
    Location: Geographe Catchment in south-west WA

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