Members of the Peel-Yalgorup System Ramsar Technical Advisory Group came together recently for their annual meeting. The dedicated wetlands group enters its 11th year with members full of enthusiasm and a broad range of initiatives underway.

The 26,500 hectare Peel-Yalgorup wetland system, including the estuary and lakes in the Yalgorup National Park, are designated wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. Topics discussed at the annual meeting related to the management and monitoring of this complex and significant site.

The Peel-Yalgorup System Ramsar Technical Advisory Group (TAG) was established in 2007 and involves 27 stakeholder organisations who work collaboratively to manage this wetland system.

Senior Bindjareb Elder Harry Nannup opened the meeting by welcoming the group to Noongar country. Mr Nannup emphasised how keen he is to work with the TAG members on matters relating to the estuary and wetlands.

Presentations were made by TAG members on planning, on-ground works and monitoring activities across the Peel-Yalgorup wetland system. Key projects discussed at the meeting included:

  • the Lake McLarty Action Plan,
  • ongoing recovery actions at Lake Mealup,
  • Austin Bay and Roberts Bay Reserves on-ground works,
  • increasing salinity of Lake Clifton and implications for the Thrombolite Recovery Group,
  • the Regional Estuaries Initiative,
  • the Marine Stewardship Council’s accreditation of the estuary’s commercial and recreational fishery,
  • annual Shorebird 2020 report on waterbird numbers and
  • the new Wetlands and People project.

Dr Fiona Valesini, from Murdoch University, presented on the Australian Research Council Linkage project; balancing estuarine and societal health in a changing environment. Dr Valesini has said the research would help to deliver the types of benefits the growing population in the area needs and wants while minimising the downstream effects on the natural assets provided by the estuary, like good water quality and fishing.

Dr Rhonda Butcher from Water’s Edge Consulting explained the Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Framework, for which the Peel-Yalgorup System has been chosen as a case study. Dr Butcher is considered a leader in Australian Ramsar site management having led major programs across all Australian Ramsar sites over the past 17 years.

The meeting concluded with a special mention from Dr Butcher, “This TAG is very different to many others I have worked with. The ongoing, highly collaborative approach is very progressive. The work you are doing is inspiring and it is awesome that you have a CEPA (Communication, Education and Awareness) Plan- the only one I know of for an individual site”.

To view a new information sheet about the Peel-Yalgorup System, its management objectives and Ramsar convention information visit the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council website:

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council facilitates the meetings held in March each year. The Peel-Yalgorup System Ramsar 482 TAG is supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Australian Government’ s National Landcare Programme.


Media Contact:  Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council,, (08) 6369 8800


We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present