The Swan Estuary Reserves Action Group (SERAG) Inc. was formed in 2010 in response to a pressing need for action to ensure the long-term health and well-being of three very special areas in the Swan River Estuary that have been set aside by the wider community as A-Class Nature Reserves and Marine Parks.
The Reserves are Milyu in South Perth, Alfred Cove in Melville, and Pelican Point in Crawley. Although small, they serve as sanctuaries for native wildlife, including river dolphin and a plethora of local and migratory birds, some of which are critically endangered.
They provide important feeding habitats for trans-equatorial migratory wading birds protected by agreements Australia has with Japan, China and Korea. The tiny Red-necked stint is one such traveller.
Waders and waterbirds move between the three Reserves on a daily basis - their sand banks, mud flats and beaches providing the only remaining significant feeding and resting areas in the Swan River Estuary.
Concern about the health of our magnificent Swan River Estuary has been mounting over recent years. Regrettably, the quality of our river water is under great pressure from regional agricultural and urban industrial and housing development activities, while the banks of the Swan and Canning Rivers are being cleared of native vegetation for dwellings and by those seeking river views, for transport systems and for an increasing variety of recreation activities.
A proposal before the City of Melville to construct a massive artificial surfing facility on Bush Forever Site 331immediately adjacent to the Alfred Cove Marine Park and A-Class Nature Reserve is an example of this pressure.
There are now very few remaining areas of the salt marsh, sedge banks and fringing forest that comprised the Estuary’s original vegetation; and even though at times we may see an abundance of birds such as swans, cormorants and pelicans, there are declining numbers of other species using the Estuary.
The Reserves are suffering under the pressures of incompatible urban activities. They are small, extremely fragile and significantly degraded. Hence they are in need of urgent support.
SERAG Inc.'s specific goals are to:
Enhance the long-term ecological health of the Swan River Estuary A-Class Reserves and adjacent river parks for the benefit of native fauna and for the enjoyment of current and future generations of the Perth community.
Support the managing authorities and those organisations involved in the restoration of the natural environment of the Swan River Estuary.
To these ends SERAG Inc. mobilises voluntary labour and other resources, applying for funding from various government and private institutions and working with other community organizations to support specific rehabilitation projects in the reserves. Such projects include: removing infestations of weeds and replacing them with sedges, shrubs and trees indigenous to the foreshore; managing erosion from boat-wash and winter storms, and installing structures such as fencing, boardwalks and informative signage to minimise human impact.
It is also involved in educating the wider community about the conservation values of the reserves and in encouraging behaviours that enhance and protect these values.
The Swan Estuary Reserves Action Group acknowledges and pays respect to the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, particularly the elders past and present of Whadjuk Noongar people.
The Swan Estuary Reserves Action Group is an incorporated body with its own constitution, ABN and bank account.
Each year at SERAG’s Annual General Meeting, a committee is formed whose work is to develop and manage strategies to support the group’s goals. The committee meets regularly throughout the course of the year, maintains minutes of its meetings and reports to the membership as a whole at the Annual General Meeting.
Australian writer Robert Drewe is our Patron.
A quarterly newsletter is produced to keep members and friends informed of the group’s plans and activities and about opportunities for their involvement. Regular bushcare and community education activities are held at various locations and are publicised in our Calendar of Events.