A Region of Diverse Landscapes
The Peel-Harvey is loved by many Western Australians for its natural environment and the opportunities these natural, rural places provide. Many West Australians have fond memories of crabbing and prawning in the Estuary, canoeing on the Murray River, hiking on the Bibbulmun Track or fun family days at the Waroona and Harvey Shows. The Region has changed significantly over the last 50 years, but this sense of place remains and is the reason over 180 000 people call the Peel-Harvey home (2020, ABS).
The Region consists of four sub-systems that reflect the diverse landscapes, communities and land uses of the Peel-Harvey Catchment, as shown below.
Ramsar Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore*
Includes the 26 530 ha Ramsar-listed Peel-Yalgorup Wetland System and over 83 km of coastal and near-shore environments. Most of this subsystem is developed for urban and rural residential land use or reserved for conservation.
The Swan Coastal Plain is the relatively flat, winter-wet and artificially drained sandplain which has been extensively cleared and is used for agriculture, townsites and rural residential areas.
Forest and Scarp
The Forest and Scarp covers large areas of jarrah forest across the centre of the Catchment. The area is managed for a multitude of values including public water supply, conservation, mining, recreation and forestry.
Hotham and Williams
The Hotham Williams makes up more than half of the Region and includes some of the most reliable and productive cropping and farming districts of the Western Australian Wheatbelt.
*The Coastal Plain Subsystem and Ramsar, Coastal and Near-shore Subsystem are connected by an extensive drainage system that conveys water, sediments and nutrients from the upstream catchment to the Peel-Harvey Estuary and other wetlands in the Ramsar Site. The two subsystems have been separated for the purposes of the strategy to highlight the different land-use and management issues facing these two areas as well as the different community aspirations. The NRM focus on the Coastal Plain is on managing land-use change and drainage management, while the priority for the Ramsar, Coastal and Nearshore Subsystem is management and buffering of the Ramsar Site, coastal foreshores and the Peel-Harvey Estuarine System (the Catchment’s receiving environment).
For more detail on our subsystems see https://peel-harvey.org.au/about-us/our-catchment/. A comparison of catchment statistics from 2014 to 2020 is provided below