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Foreshore management

Foreshores are dynamic boundaries between land and water and are constantly changing in response to natural geomorphic processes and shifts in natural conditions in the surrounding catchment.

Human disturbance can affect the integrity of foreshores through:

  • loss of fringing vegetation through clearing and damage
  • erosion exacerbated by boat wake and surface water run-off
  • weed invasion by non-local native species
  • uncontrolled public access

In the Swan Canning Riverpark, foreshores comprise two main types:

  • natural shorelines that support fringing vegetation and have important habitat value
  • built foreshores that employ a range of engineered stabilisation mechanisms to protect important infrastructure or provide high value amenity.

Protection and rehabilitation of foreshores is critical maintain environmental and socio-economic values within the Riverpark. An assessment of shoreline condition in 2008 as part of the Swan and Canning Rivers Foreshore Assessment and Management Strategy determined that:

  • at least 146km of foreshore was experiencing moderate to high erosion
  • approximately 6km of foreshore retaining structures required immediate maintenance

Parks and Wildlife has a number of initiatives to protect and rehabilitate foreshores.

  • The Riverbank Program sees Parks and Wildlife work in partnership with 21 local and six State Government agencies that are jointly responsible for the management of the Swan Canning Riverpark shoreline.
  • The Boating Management Strategy aims to limit the impact of boat wash on some sensitive foreshore areas. The strategy guides the management of boating in the Swan Canning Riverpark and includes recommendations to ensure the sustainable future of this popular pastime. Two specific recommendations include:
    • Aquatic Use Review Management Framework,a systematic review of aquatic activities in the Swan and Canning rivers undertaken jointly by the Swan River Trust (now Department of Parks and Wildlife) and the Department of Transport – Marine Safety in response to the increasing level of use in the rivers. The intent of the draft framework is to ensure safe, equitable and sustainable use of the waterway with minimal conflicts.
    • Dinghy Management Policy, which formalises the recommendations of the Boating Management Strategy requiring dinghies to be stored in an approved management system, protecting sensitive shorelines and improving public safety and access.
  • Tree damage response involves Parks and Wildlife officers thoroughly investigating any deliberate tree damage in the Swan Canning Riverpark in consultation with land managers.
  • Guidelines for developing foreshore management plans and foreshore restoration plans in the Swan Canning Riverpark, which have been prepared to support appropriate planning and management strategies for the foreshore.
  • Best management practices for foreshore stabilisation, which documents current best management practices in foreshore stabilisation for the Swan and Canning rivers.
  • Swan and Canning Rivers Foreshore Assessment and Management Strategy was developed in 2008 through a partnership with the Australian Government, Natural Heritage Trust and the Swan Catchment Council. The strategy is still in use and provides an ecological and physical assessment of the Swan and Canning river foreshores. It documents information on condition and pressures on the foreshores and recommended management responses. The strategy is divided into a foreshore assessment and a management strategy.