MANDURAH Noongar Elder Harry Nannup performed a smoking ceremony at the Serpentine River on December 6 to mark the launch of a $1.9 million water treatment project.
The project will treat water from the Peel Main Drain before it enters the Serpentine River and is being delivered in a partnership between the Federal Government and the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC).
The aim of the project is to improve the water quality and ecological health of the Serpentine River by diverting flow from the Peel Main Drain to adjacent land and wetlands.
This should reduce organic matter and nutrients which would normally enter the Serpentine River.
PHCC chairman Andy Gulliver said he was thankful to be working in partnership with the Department of Water and to have the support of the Water Corporation and DPAW to deliver the project.
“The smoking ceremony marked the beginning of the project and it was wonderful to have so many of Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s partners and stakeholders represented on the day,” Mr Gulliver said.
The Restoring the Health of the Serpentine River project is part of the $20 million Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI).
Led by the Department of Water, the REI works to improve water quality and waterway health in six south-western estuaries and their catchments.
The success and practicability of water quality treatments to address organic matter and nutrient concentrations, including soil amendments, natural wetlands, solids settling and biological treatment will be monitored.
The environmental values and many uses of estuaries are respected by Mandurah’s Noongar people, and are an integral part of their culture and knowledge.