27/05/2019 - 11:44

The Nature Conservancy wins backing for rivers project

27/05/2019 - 11:44

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Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation has pledged up to $2 million to The Nature Conservancy to undertake a series of activities to improve the Swan-Canning Estuary’s health, including the restoration of lost shellfish reefs.

The Nature Conservancy wins backing for rivers project
Nicola Forrest says the Swan and Canning rivers need to be kept clean and healthy.

Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation has pledged up to $2 million to The Nature Conservancy to undertake a series of activities to improve the Swan-Canning Estuary’s health, including the restoration of lost shellfish reefs.

The Minderoo pledge will match other donations on a one-for-one basis up to $2 million, with $650,000 of matching gifts already raised.

With $1.25 million previously committed by Lotterywest and $250,000 from the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions, the project is now more than halfway to its $5 million target.

Some of Western Australia’s most notable companies and philanthropists are also backing the project, including: Jock Clough; Adrian and Michela Fini; Austral Fisheries; Gavin Bunning; The McCusker Charitable Foundation; Major Holdings; James and Marion Taylor; and Michael and Margrete Chaney.

Minderoo Foundation director Nicola Forrest said the Swan and Canning rivers needed to be kept clean and healthy.  

“They flow through the heart of our city and reach our precious coastline,” she said.

“These rivers are celebrated for their natural beauty and cultural and recreational significance and should remain accessible for all West Aussies, and our visitors, for decades to come.”

Mr and Mrs Forrest made the pledge to TNC anonymously last year, but recently agreed to go public, at TNC’s request, to help raise awareness of the project.

TNC Australia director Rich Gilmore said the organisation was excited to extend its work restoring aquatic habitats to the Swan-Canning Estuary.

“Perth and Fremantle communities, from the time of European settlement, have greatly enjoyed what the Swan River offered in terms of its resources and beauty but the river is under increasing stress, mostly due to nutrient inflow,” he said.

“We greatly appreciate Minderoo’s and other donors’ generous pledges and I invite other Western Australians to give something back to improve their rivers health.”

The Swan-Canning project is part of a bigger TNC program to restore shellfish reefs across southern Australia.

Native shellfish reefs, including oysters and mussels, are Australia’s most threatened marine ecosystem, according to TNC.

 

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