A coordinated approach across six estuaries

The Regional Estuaries Initiative is a $20 million state government program to improve the health of six estuaries in the South West (Peel-Harvey Estuary, Leschenault Estuary, Vasse-Wonnerup Estuary, Hardy Inlet, Wilson Inlet and Oyster Harbour).

This is the biggest single investment the state government has ever made in managing the health of Western Australia’s regional estuaries. This funding will be supported by contributions and in-kind support from regional catchment groups, local governments and industry partners.

Led by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, the Initiative funds a range of on-ground works, including soil and water testing, farm effluent management upgrades, fencing, revegetation and drainage, as well as new science and modelling, regional capacity, employment and training.

Our estuaries are under stress from a combination of:

  • a drying climate, reduced rainfall and water flow
  • a growing population
  • historical land use
  • intensified agriculture and
  • growing urbanisation.

The Regional Estuaries Initiative drives action in catchments to improve water quality and restore the environmental balance of estuaries. The five strategies of the Regional Estuaries Initiative provide on-ground works and creates the science needed for informed decision-making.

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Why estuaries?

Regional estuaries support regional development, tourism, recreational and commercial fishing and port activities.

The program is supported by co-investments from regional catchment groups, local governments and industry partners. An additional $15 million (including $7.15 million) is dedicated to the Vasse Geographe Strategy.

The Regional Estuaries Initiative coordinates and implements common actions across the at-risk estuaries, building regional capability, promoting whole-of-industry engagement, and strengthening cooperative networks to share resources and knowledge.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and our partners have over 20 years experience and scientific understanding of estuary science and conditions. This knowledge has been used to shape the practical solutions and management tools that make up the Regional Estuaries.

Find out about the progress of the initiative in the Regional Estuaries Initiative progress report.

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The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation was established by the Government of Western Australia on 1 July 2017. It is a result of the amalgamation of the Department of Environmental Regulation, Department of Water and the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority. This website may contain references to previous government departments and programs. Please email the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to clarify any specific information.