Get Regular Updates!
|Many helping hands improve ailing Albany harbour’s health



Peter Luscombe

Many helping hands improve ailing Albany harbour’s health

Many helping hands improve ailing Albany harbour’s health

Volunteers’ efforts to improve the health of a degraded Albany harbour have been heralded as an outstanding success.

Many helping hands improve ailing Albany harbour’s health

Concerned farmers formed the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group (OHCG) in 1992.

The catchment covers about 3,000km2 between Tenterden and Albany.

It includes the Stirling Range and Porongurup National Parks, Kalgan and King river systems and Oyster Harbour.

In total, there are approximately 31 Nature Reserves and 38 listed Heritage Sites within the catchment.


OHCG chairwoman Heather Adams says the harbour’s degraded condition was the catalyst.

“We’d lost all the seagrass in the harbour and…a lot of the marine ecosystem that depended on that seagrass to live,” she says.

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers washing into waterways was contributing to the problem.


The OHCG has received more than $4.5 million in State and Commonwealth funding for 50 projects over the past seven years.

Activities include fencing waterways and remnant vegetation to keep livestock out, planting native trees and controlling invasive weeds.

They work with other community conservation groups, local government and government agencies to promote the importance of natural resource management.

Heather’s highlight over 23 years is Oyster Harbour’s restoration.

“It’s been an outstanding success,” she says.

“Oyster Harbour is one of the few places in the world where a harbour has been reclaimed.”

“We’ve been able to establish seagrass beds very successfully…which I don’t think has been achieved to the same degree anywhere else in the world.”

View Larger
Image|Claire Bartron
Primary school students visit Oyster Harbour


Heather credits the group’s positive contribution to the catchment’s health to persistence.

“There’s a lot of very dedicated people…who are passionate about caring for the environment,” she says.

“I’m constantly astounded by the commitment and the passion other people have.”

“The local farmers and even the smaller landholders are quite remarkable.”

“They all want to do the best they can to look after the land.”


Peter Luscombe

Fencing to protect wildlife corridors between the Stirling Range and Porongurup Range National Parks in 2011

Fencing to protect wildlife corridors between the Stirling Range and Porongurup Range National Parks in 2011


Living in an internationally renowned biodiversity hotspot motivates the group’s members.

“We live in one of the most amazingly diverse places in the world as far as animals and particularly plants go,” Heather says.

“A lot of people understand how lucky we are… and they really value that.”

“It’s not hard to keep enthused about what we do when you’re protecting and enhancing some remarkable areas of flora.”

“Once we protect and enhance those areas, we can provide and protect the habitat the animals need.”


The OHCG has 50-60 members, which have grown to include small landholders, former scientists and natural resource management specialists, community members and other stakeholders.

Heather says there’s always room for more.

“I think we could quite happily work for another 30 years and still be doing similar activities to what we’re doing now,” she says.

Want to get involved? Visit the OHCG website to get in touch.

Particle Puns


Creative Commons Logo

Republishing our content

We want our stories to be shared and seen by as many people as possible.

Therefore, unless it says otherwise, copyright on the stories on Particle belongs to Scitech and they are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

This allows you to republish our articles online or in print for free. You just need to credit us and link to us, and you can’t edit our material or sell it separately.

Using the ‘republish’ button on our website is the easiest way to meet our guidelines.


You cannot edit the article.

When republishing, you have to credit our authors, ideally in the byline. You have to credit Particle with a link back to the original publication on Particle.

If you’re republishing online, you must use our pageview counter, link to us and include links from our story. Our page view counter is a small pixel-ping (invisible to the eye) that allows us to know when our content is republished. It’s a condition of our guidelines that you include our counter. If you use the ‘republish’ then you’ll capture our page counter.

If you’re republishing in print, please email us to let us so we know about it (we get very proud to see our work republished) and you must include the Particle logo next to the credits. Download logo here.

If you wish to republish all our stories, please contact us directly to discuss this opportunity.


Most of the images used on Particle are copyright of the photographer who made them.

It is your responsibility to confirm that you’re licensed to republish images in our articles.


All Particle videos can be accessed through YouTube under the Standard YouTube Licence.

The Standard YouTube licence

  1. This licence is ‘All Rights Reserved’, granting provisions for YouTube to display the content, and YouTube’s visitors to stream the content. This means that the content may be streamed from YouTube but specifically forbids downloading, adaptation, and redistribution, except where otherwise licensed. When uploading your content to YouTube it will automatically use the Standard YouTube licence. You can check this by clicking on Advanced Settings and looking at the dropdown box ‘License and rights ownership’.
  2. When a user is uploading a video he has license options that he can choose from. The first option is “standard YouTube License” which means that you grant the broadcasting rights to YouTube. This essentially means that your video can only be accessed from YouTube for watching purpose and cannot be reproduced or distributed in any other form without your consent.


For more information about using our content, email us:

Copy this HTML into your CMS
Press Ctrl+C to copy

We've got chemistry. Want something physical?