Australind community gives helping hand for a healthier estuary
Released 03 Jul 2018
As part of the Love the Leschenault program, more than 100 households identified as using large amounts of fertiliser were given access to in-home fertiliser and gardening advice and practical tips from an expert ‘eco-coach’.
In addition to in-home advice, a recent workshop with celebrity gardener Neville Passmore drew a full house, with 110 people discovering how to make their gardens thrive in the Bunbury region’s soil and climate conditions, with less fertiliser.
Altering fertiliser types, quantities and the application timing can have a big impact on the health of the Leschenault Estuary, said Anya Lam, Acting Regional Estuaries Initiative Coordinator with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
“Fertiliser applied to our gardens in excess, or right before rain, isn’t absorbed by plants – so it ends up being washed into nearby drains and streams,” said Ms Lam.
“These fertilisers end up in the Leschenault Estuary, fuelling algal growth and putting the health of the estuary at risk.”
Ms Lam said 54 per cent of participants in the Love the Leschenault program reportedly “always avoid fertilising over winter and a huge 40 per cent more agreed to join them this year – a big win for the environment and a big step forward for the local community.”
To help protect the Leschenault Estuary, residents should:
- switch to a controlled release fertiliser
- use less fertiliser than suggested on the packet
- use less organic fertiliser, as manures can also cause nutrient pollution
- fertilise in autumn and spring
- shave one or two minutes off irrigation run times.
The Love the Leschenault program, part of the state government’s Regional Estuaries Initiative, works in partnership with the Leschenault Catchment Council to improve water quality throughout the local waterways.
For more tips on how to make your garden estuary-friendly, visit rei.dwer.wa.gov.au/participate
Phone: 0437 228 870