The Estuary Care Foundation SA

Promoting nature-based solutions through community action.


The Estuary Care Foundation SA was established in 2016 to promote the protection of the ecology and shorelines of South Australia’s Port River and Barker Inlet.

The Foundation has a culture of engaging with communities (including environment, government, business and education), and a strong foundation in citizen science. It promotes nature-based solutions through community action.

The key objectives of the Foundation are to:

• Conserve, protect, enhance and promote the ecology of the Port River and Barker Inlet Estuary, and the benefits thus provided

• Support, undertake, facilitate and monitor eco-engineering solutions to safeguard shorelines, community assets and the habitat of estuarine species, from rising sea levels

• Facilitate research, education and training relevant to the conservation, protection and restoration of, and carbon sequestration in, the Port River and Barker Inlet Estuary

• Pursue the objects of the Foundation in collaboration with local residents, community organisations, industries, corporations, and governments


Estuary Care Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission.

It is governed by a Board (the members of the Foundation) with the power to establish advisory panels or project based Committees.

Board members are elected annually by special resolution at an Annual General Meeting.

The current Board of the Foundation is:

Chair – Vanessa McCluskey

Deputy Chair – John Watson

Secretary – Catherine McMahon (Founder and Hon. Executive Officer)

Treasurer – Karina Mignone

General Board members – Dennis Steffensen, Sam Taylor, Mitch Bacon.


All roles in the Foundation, including Board positions, are undertaken by volunteers. Volunteers and supporters are essential to everything the Foundation does. The willingness of people and organisations to get involved underlines the relevance of the Foundation to a diverse range of interests.

All projects undertaken by the Foundation involve volunteers of the Foundation and members and/or volunteers from other community organisations.

The most extensive volunteer involvement to date has been in the Port River Shellfish Restoration Project and the Seagrass Monitoring Team.

Further volunteer involvement is proposed in:

• Monitoring the outcomes of the Foundation's restoration projects.

• Building a comprehensive picture of the Estuary, together with the changes it experiences over time; e.g. erosion with sea level rise, distribution of mangroves, fish and seagrass.

• Implementing trials of Living Shorelines and the elements of these, including building and stocking shellfish reefs, and undertaking seagrass restoration.

• Growing the Foundation's role in community education, including presentations, artworks and exhibiting at public events.