Wetland plants to improve inlet water

South West Catchments Council’s Joanna Hugues-dit-Ciles and City of Bunbury’s Jarrad Back at the Queen’s Garden wetland area.

Thousands of plants were planted at Queens Garden wetland in Bunbury this month to reduce stormwater pollutants entering the Leschenault Inlet.

The wetland at Queens Garden is a stormwater detention basin that collects run-off from the Bunbury CBD and neighboring industrial and urban areas.

Stormwater often carries pollutants such as litter, sediment, heavy metals and nutrients which are harmful to rivers, estuaries and aquatic wildlife.

South West Catchments Council Officer Pip Marshall said it was important to keep our waterways healthy.

“The Inlet is frequented by Bunbury’s much-loved dolphins, is home to the White Mangrove community and popular fishing species such as the black bream, so it’s important that we protect these areas from pollutants produced by our modern lifestyles” Ms Marshall said.

As water is retained in the basin after storm events, specialised wetland plant species use biophysical processes to remove nasties from the water.

The plants act as living filters by taking up nutrients and breaking down pollutants, improving the quality of the water before it overflows into the Leschenault Inlet.

City of Bunbury’s Landscape Officer Jarrad Back hoped the wetland upgrade would be a ‘win-win’ for the environment and the community.

“We want to ensure we are doing our part to protect water quality in the Leschenault Inlet and at the same time improve the amenity of the area for people using the adjacent skatepark and greenspaces of Queens Gardens” Mr Back said.

This project is jointly funded by the South West Catchments Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and the City of Bunbury as part of SWCC’s Waterway Project which has funded similar water quality improvement projects across the South West in recent years.

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