The Bremer River starts approximately 5km south of the townsite of Jerramungup and runs south-east for about 70km to drain into the ocean at the Wellstead Estuary (see Wellstead Project). The Bremer River catchment covers approximately 64,000 hectares and is comprised of three subcatchments; the Bremer River, the Carlawillup and the Devils Creek.
The main landuse in the catchment is agriculture, primarily broad acre with winter cropping and livestock grazing. Around 80% of the native vegetation in the catchment has been cleared (initially as part of the War Service Scheme with 50% cleared by 1968).
In addition to agricultural values, the Bremer River Catchment has high biodiversity values. The catchment borders the Fitzgerald National Park and is within an internationally recognised Biosphere Reserve (see Fitzgerald Biosphere). The key issues in the Bremer River catchment are;
- Catchment landscape salinity
- Declining physical waterway condition
- Soil degradation including acidification, erosion and siltation
- Nutrient loss and reduced water quality
- Erosion and siltation
- Loss of biodiversity and weed invasion
The Bremer River Catchment Project started in 2006 following the completion of the Bremer River Catchment Plan. The plan was created to provide strategic direction, framework and mechanisms for implementing activities with an overall aim of sustainability for the catchment and its community.
The 20 year aim of the Bremer River Catchment Project is to:
"Contain salinity, improve water quality and address other natural resource management issues in the Bremer River Catchment area to effect positive impacts on the natural resource base"
Works that are carried out to combat the problems in the catchment include:
- Biodiverse revegetation (multiple native species)
- Fencing to protect bushland and waterways from stock
- Permanent and phase perennials
- Engineering works such as surface drainage
- Soil treatments such as liming and claying
The project is funded by South Coast NRM and managed by the FBG.
Funding is equally matched by landowner contributions to the project.
"The FBG will promote, support and develop responsible and sustainable practices within the Fitzgerald Biosphere region to support a vibrant rural community."
Critters in the Catchment
This month: The Echidna