Everyone who swims or paddles in the Margaret River, lives or walks along its banks, or cares about the waterway is urged to come along to the next event in Nature Conservation Margaret River Region’s Sundowner Series.

That’s the message from the region’s peak environment and conservation group, which is holding its Wooditjup Bilya sundowner evening at the Margaret River District Club at Tuesday, November 22 from 5.30pm-7.30pm.

And audience Q&A will follow talks by guest speakers discussing 20 years since the Margaret River Action Plan was developed, looking at some of the major wins for the waterway as well as the ongoing challenges including reduction in flow, introduced species, nutrient loads and pollution.

“We’ve seen some big changes to the river in our 20 years of working to protect it. And we think it’s really timely for the community to have a conversation about how we care for our river over the next 20 years and how we tackle some of the challenges,” said Nature Conservation Margaret River Region general manager Drew McKenzie.

Nature Conservation special projects officer and event organiser Jodie Passmore said it would be a fun and informative evening. “Everyone in this town has some connection to the Margaret River, whether it’s paddling down at the river mouth, doing bombies at Rendall Street weir, having a coffee down by the bridge at Rotary Park, or pumping water from the Margaret River to water grapevines or cattle,” she said. “This namesake of ours is facing plenty of challenges and this evening is a chance to get our community together for an honest conversation about where to from here.”

Speakers include Zac Webb from Undalup Association, Genevieve Hanran-Smith (pictured) who authored the Margaret River Action Plan and co-authored the Wooditjup Bilya Protection Strategy, and Stephen Beatty from Aquatic Ecosystems Conservation and a senior research fellow at Murdoch University who helped design our fishways and has done a swag of research into threatened fish species and lampreys in the river.

“Our last sundowner was a completely full house, and a brilliant night,” Ms Passmore said. “This time, I’m so thrilled we’ve got Zac Webb speaking about the cultural significance of Wooditjup Bilya (Margaret River); Genevieve Hanran-Smith, who has worked with so many landowners who live on the Margaret River over the last 20 years, and has walked it at least twice doing significant mapping and conservation work; and the very knowledgeable Stephen Beatty. The Q and A will be a great opportunity for locals to contribute to this important conversation.”

Tickets are $15 for Nature Conservation members or $25 for non-members and include a light supper and drink on entry. Book your ticket here. And if you’re not already, become a Nature Conservation member here.