The Swan River is the jewel in Perth’s crown. A natural wonder, the Swan River Estuary stretches more than 60km from Fremantle to Ellen Brook. It is home to a population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins; more than 130 species of fish (including seahorses!), more than 80 species of waterbird; and a huge array of native flora.
Derbarl Yerrigan, to the region’s first people the Noongar, has great spiritual significance to the Noongar people and has been a source of food, water and leisure for thousands of years. Today, Perth residents and visitors can enjoy a plethora of recreational activities on and around the river; from kayaking, swimming and fishing; to picnicking, cycling, walking – or enjoying a play at one of the area’s many parks.
But the river is under threat from many directions. Government efforts to reduce nutrient in-flow from agriculture via the Ellen Brook are progressing painfully slowly; planning for a reduction in rainfall is lacking and heavy downfalls continue to lead to flooding and nutrient overloads.
Careful management is absolutely critical, particularly as the river system deals with the impacts of sea-level rise as a result of climate change.
The Swan River is a precious natural jewel which must be protected at all costs.