Dry to keep Wilson Inlet bar closed

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Denmark's Wilson inlet when it was artificially open in 2016.
Camera IconDenmark's Wilson inlet when it was artificially open in 2016.

Denmark’s Wilson Inlet sandbar is likely to remain closed more frequently in the next few years due to low rainfall, according to the Department of Water.

The announcement was made during the department’s presentation at the Wilson Inlet forum last week.

The decision to close the inlet was discussed in some length at the forum with more than a hundred of community members present.

Wilson Catchment Committee executive officer Shaun Ossinger said the main topic of debate revolved around the region’s low rainfall patterns.

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“The department’s takeaway message is that the inlet remains very healthy despite the low rainfall,” Mr Ossinger told the forum.

“Although the inlet did not open this year, the water quality remains largely within the guidelines.

“The other thing that was discussed was the region’s declining rainfall.

“It will potentially be more likely that we won’t have openings every year.

“By holding on to some of this water, and not opening it when it’s barely above sea level, it makes it more likely that we can open it the following year.”

Mr Ossinger said there were concerns raised about the decision to close the inlet indefinitely, for example in relation to the local shore birds.

“(The birds) are an ongoing community concern, because if the inlet does not open there’s not as much forage in their habitat,” he said.

“There were also concerns expressed about the health of vegetation around the inlet.

“But overall there wasn’t much to disagree with. The information and facts were all there for everyone to see.”

Mr Ossinger said the Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee was involved with more than 70 projects around the inlet to ensure the water quality in the estuary remained at a healthy level.

Note: The original article stated that the inlet “is likely to remain closed for the next few years”, this line has been corrected to “likely to remain closed more frequently in the next few years.”

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