October 25, 2017

$2 million Alcoa Foundation partnership for Peel-Harvey river projects

Alcoa Foundation has announced funding of more than $2 million for three environmental projects across the Peel-Harvey Catchment. The partnerships with Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Greening Australia and The Nature Conservancy will help deliver on-ground and in-water environmental actions in consultation with the community, to improve the health of the Peel-Harvey Catchment over three years.

$2 million for healthy rivers original
Elder Harry Nannup conducting a Smoking Ceremony to bless works on the Serpentine River in one of three environmental projects across the Peel-Harvey Catchment supported by $2 million from Alcoa Foundation.



Alcoa of Australia Managing Director Michael Parker said the partnership reflected Alcoa’s commitment to local communities and the environment.

“Alcoa Foundation and Alcoa are delighted to be working with three highly respected environmental organisations to support the Serpentine, Murray and Harvey rivers which are not only environmentally significant, but make important contributions to the social and economic health of the region,” Michael said.

“These new partnerships are very clearly focussed on improved environmental outcomes for the Peel-Harvey Catchment and reflect Alcoa’s commitment to returning value to the communities where we operate,” he said.

The projects, which commence in 2017, will contribute directly to the on-going health and management of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar System. The 26,500 hectare wetland system, including the Peel-Harvey Estuary, is recognised as a wetland of international significance under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.

There are a number of threats impacting on the rivers and wetlands of the Peel-Harvey including land clearing and agricultural land use, urban development, recreational land use and climate change.

The three separate but complementary projects will enhance existing ventures and boost new initiatives to protect and improve the condition of the three major rivers that discharge in to the Peel-Harvey estuarine system – the Murray, Serpentine and Harvey rivers – and the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar System.

More about the projects:

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council – ‘Connecting Corridors and Communities - Restoring the Serpentine River’

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC) will deliver on-ground environmental actions and community engagement over three years to improve the health of the Serpentine (Bilya) River. The funding will complement other projects including the State Government funded Regional Estuaries Initiative and Transform Peel, by enabling further works on private land, including:

  • Community engagement events and field days
  • Fencing to protect and conserve existing areas of riparian and bushland vegetation
  • Revegetation to reconnect areas of bushland, riparian zones and patches of remnant vegetation
  • Bank stabilisation to improve water quality, habitat and food availability for invertebrates and finfish
  • Biosecurity management of feral animals, weeds and diseases
  • Working with local Noongar community through all aspects of the project
  • Developing a River Action Plan for the mid and upper reaches of the Serpentine River

Greening Australia - The Three Rivers Initiative

Greening Australia will implement local, on-ground action across the Peel region working on identified priority projects with industry, community and local land management groups to improve the condition of the Serpentine, Murray and Harvey rivers, reverse the loss of habitat for threatened species and integrate priority restoration into Peel-Harvey’s fragmented landscape.

The Nature Conservancy - revitalising the Peel-Harvey Estuary through nature-based solutions

Addressing the growing threats of urban development, fisheries decline and climate change on the long-term health and resilience of the Peel-Harvey Estuary, this project will complement existing work undertaken in the upper catchment. It will focus on marine habitat restoration opportunities for improving fisheries, biodiversity and natural solutions to coastal defence in the estuary. The project will use The Nature Conservancy’s proven approach for catalysing large-scale investments in estuary protection and repair as being carried out in Oyster Harbour near Albany, and in South Australia and Victoria.

The project will also gather existing environmental, social and economic data to inform the development of online restoration decision-support tools called Coastal Resilience and Conservation Action Planning (CAP) processes to assist with restoration priority setting.

Look out in your local community for upcoming activities and citizen science projects from these organisations to participate in recovery actions for the three rivers and the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar System.


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