The Minderoo Foundation in Dalkeith, Australia, has announced a pledge of up to AU$2 million ($1.4 million) to the Nature Conservancy as part of a AU$5 million campaign to improve the health of Western Australia's Swan-Canning Estuary.
The foundation will match gifts that support a restoration campaign aimed at rehabilitating lost shellfish reefs in the estuary, Australia's most threatened marine ecosystem. According to the foundation, restoring shellfish reefs improves biodiversity, water clarity, and local fish stocks; increases shoreline protection; and provides additional feeding habitat for threatened migratory shorebirds.
The commitment from Minderoo Foundation founders Andrew and Nicola Forrest, who were among the first international signatories of the Giving Pledge, was made anonymously in 2018 but was made public recently to boost awareness of the project. To date, Lotterywest has committed AU$1.25 million and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions has pledged AU$250,000.
"We're extremely excited to extend our work restoring aquatic habitats to the Swan-Canning Estuary," said TNC Australia director Rich Gilmore. "Perth and Fremantle communities, from the time of European settlement, have greatly enjoyed what the Swan River offered in terms of its resources and beauty, but the river is under increasing stress, mostly due to nutrient inflow. We greatly appreciate Minderoo’s and other donors’ generous pledges, and I invite other West Australians to give something back to improve their river’s health."
(Photo credit: Jacobs Stock Photography)