Watson Creek flows into the Yaringa Marine National Park and has been identified as one of the most polluted creeks in Victoria.
The Watson Creek Integrated Catchment Management Project has led to greater cooperation between groups who both affect and manage the creek. The project uses a “no blame, all responsible” approach to dealing with problems such as excess nutrient runoff and pest plant and animal impacts. Using imagination and collaboration with local landholders, businesses and community members, the project has achieved significant outcomes in raising awareness and engaging the community in an effort to improve water quality in the creek.
Western Port Biosphere Executive Officer Cecelia Witton said the award recognised the dedicated effort of Watson Creek project officers, Michelle Wright and Anna Roach, and former project officers Janet Borley and Virginia Richardson.
“It also reflects the support and guidance provided by the Watson Creek steering committee, which includes representatives from Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, Mornington Peninsula Shire, City of Casey, Victorian Vegetable Growers Association, business and the community,” she said.
Western Port Biosphere secretary Jack Krohn said the award reflected the capacity of the Biosphere to broker partnerships and respond effectively to key sustainability challenges in the region.
“Congratulations to all who over the years have contributed in big and small ways to the success of this project,” he said. “Congratulations also to the other award winners, especially to our Biosphere partners, the City of Frankston and Phillip Island Nature Parks, and to the finalists in the various categories.”
“There have clearly been some wonderful efforts and achievements along the Victorian coast over the past year, which makes the Biosphere’s recognition in winning this award all the more significant.”