Rangelands NRM’s Coastal Projects Coordinator undertook a road trip from Geraldton to Broome earlier this month in an effort to get a greater understanding of localised coastal conservation issues.
Starting on 4 February, Jimmy Dobson visited Geraldton, Denham, Carnarvon, Karratha, Port Hedland and De Grey Station, before returning to his base in Broome, meeting with many coastal stakeholders along the way.
“With the Rangelands having by far the longest coastline out of any of the 56 NRM regions in Australia, there was bound to be an array of different issues identified from South to North,” Mr Dobson said.
What was most surprising though, was the commonality amongst the issues identified. Nearly all the towns I visited listed the condition of the local mangrove populations as being a major concern.
It was noted that some methods being used in the collection of mud crabs was having a detrimental effect on juvenile mangroves.
The people I spoke to noted that from their observations, most of this damage was being done by newer residents or visitors to these towns, indicating that education is an area that we may need to focus more of our attention.
Most towns also expressed an interest in establishing monitoring projects for mangroves so they could have some solid evidence in relation to how stands of mangroves are changing due to human impact and also on what effect that may then have for our coastal environment.
Jimmy is now working to assist some of the community groups he spoke with to develop projects and secure funding to help manage their coastal environments.
As my time was limited and the coastline vast, I was not able to speak to everyone in the towns I visited, so anyone else I missed who is interested in seeing how Rangelands NRM can work with you on coastal projects or discuss ideas and find out more about funding opportunities, please contact me.
Jimmy can be contacted by email or telephone 08 91962 5507 / 0409 841 087.