AN environmental group was given $50,000 on Tuesday for a pilot project to reduce midge numbers in the Yellagonga Regional Park.
The Friends of Yellagonga project will assess the effect of floating reed islands on the midge and mosquito population.
It will include the use of solar array, aeration pump and weekly water nutrient testing by Edith Cowan University.
Friends of Yellagonga chairman Kevin McLeod said the installation of the extra solar unit would increase the volume of water filtered to 73 million litres per year.
“The pumps operate during daylight hours all-year round,” he said.
“The area of sedge water plants that will be acting to purify the water will be doubled from 88sq m to 176sq m. In addition, the water flows back to the lake through a sand bed several metres thick. If chemical control of midges is no longer required, there are potential savings of at least $42,000 per year.”
Kingsley MLA Jessica Stojkovski said swarms of midges was a top concern of Kingsley and Woodvale residents. “We have such beautiful parks and facilities to enjoy and often our evenings are ruined by these swarms in the warmer months,” she said.
“It is great to have a local group like the Friends of Yellagonga already working to mitigate this problem.”
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the grant was part of the Local Projects, Local Jobs program. “These grants are for important, grassroots initiatives and programs that will make a big difference to local communities,” he said.
It would help the Friends of Yellagonga to implement “innovative recommendations” in line with the ECU draft report on the review of the midge monitoring program from 2000 to 2015.