Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary environmentalism recognised on first birthday


Deputy Mayor Stephanie Coates and City of Bayswater director of technical services Doug Pearson. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Deputy Mayor Stephanie Coates and City of Bayswater director of technical services Doug Pearson. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

ENVIRONMENTAL work at the one-year-old Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary has been recognised.

The project has helped improve the health of the Swan and Canning river systems.

The City of Bayswater is a finalist in the Premier’s 2016 Excellence in Public Sector Management Awards for its role in the revitalisation of the $3 million Bayswater bird sanctuary.

City Environmental officer Jeremy Maher co-ordinated the revitalisation and worked with the City, community groups and Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), formerly the Swan River Trust.

The wetland now prevents 1.3 tonnes of nitrogen, 200kg of phosphorus and 40 tonnes of sediment and rubbish from flowing into the river each year.

One year on, the sanctuary has about 75 per cent plant cover as seedlings have grown and established.

Birds sighted include the great egret, rainbow bee-eaters, black swans, dotterels, spoonbills and cormorants.

Deputy Mayor Stephanie Coates said that before the revitalisation, wildlife diversity within the reserve was at an all-time low.

“The Eric Singleton Reserve was a degraded man-made wetland laden with nutrient-rich acid sulphate soil that was causing thick filamentous algae blooms,” she said.

“Run-off into the Swan River was contributing to a decline in water quality and algae blooms were literally choking marine life to death.”

Cr Coates said the City and DPaW lined the base of the wetland with limestone, which neutralised acidity and helped nitrogen removal.

“This ambitious project has resulted in the restoration of the health of the bird sanctuary, increased wildlife diversity and improved the water quality of the Swan and Canning River system,” she said.

Many residents are concerned about the impact potential works at the adjoining Carter’s wetlands will have on the sanctuary.

The winners will be announced in November.