26 September 2023

DWER insight finds climate impact on inlet

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The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) has released the Wilson Inlet Condition Report 2016-2019, which provides an insight into the health and water quality of the inlet.

Announcing the find, DWER said Wilson Inlet was a seasonally-open estuary located on the coast of the Great Southern region in the boodjar (country) of the Menang Noongar people.

“The inlet covers approximately 48 square kilometres and comprises a broad, shallow, flat-bottomed lagoon that lies behind coastal dunes,” the Department said.

“The Report outlines the findings of a comprehensive four-year monitoring program, which will be used to inform and improve the future management of the catchment and estuary,” it said.

DWER said the findings of the monitoring program indicated that Wilson Inlet had shown good resilience to nutrients entering from agricultural and residential land.

“Data collected as part of the monitoring program showed that nutrient levels in Wilson Inlet have remained similar over the past 20 years, while there has been some decline in the extent of seagrass meadows in the inlet in the past 10 years,” it said.

“However, environmental stress caused by reduced rainfall and rising sea levels as a result of climate change has also been observed within the estuary system.”

Minister for Water, Dave Kelly said the Report gave a better understanding of how Wilson Inlet could be better managed.

“The partnership with the Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee allows us to implement on-the-ground actions to protect the ecosystem,” Mr Kelly said.

“Wilson Inlet supports a wide range of economic and recreational activities and it is encouraging to see that nutrient levels have remained stable over the past 20 years with monitoring and management,” he said.

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