Home River Ocean



Home River Ocean is a program that works with the South West coastal community to change the way in which they apply fertiliser in their home gardens and to think about the larger impacts of what they do as individuals. The catchcry of Home River Ocean is “Save the Crabs, Then Eat Them” and the hero of the campaign is the iconic Blue Swimmer Crab.

This community awareness raising program, takes a very different approach, reaching out through a behavioural change campaign. It deliberately takes a light-hearted and somewhat tongue in cheek approach to a very serious behavioural issue. Fertilising at the wrong time means no more crabs and ‘lawn for lunch’!

This campaign was launched because key south west wetlands, estuarine and marine systems in highly urbanised areas, such as theLeschenault Estuary, Vasse-Wonnerup wetlands and Geographe Bay, have all experienced severe water quality problems for many years. This has led to degradation of the habitat of the Blue Swimmer Crab.

The Home River Ocean (HRO) Urban Nutrient Behaviour Change (UNBC) Autumn TV campaign aired from March to May 2016 on two key Regional television stations, GWN and WIN, with 991,500 and 1,297,828 cumulative viewers respectively.

In support of this TV advertising campaign, a range of other media were used to promote the Autumn message. Five strategic displays were held at keyevents, including the Busselton Bluewater Classic, in store visits to Bunnings Busselton and Bunbury, and the Perth Garden Festival. Static in-store displays were also undertaken at Bunnings Busselton and Bunbury. The five events resulted in 1,800 participants being approached with the HRO messaging, promotional materials disseminated and campaign competitions entered into.

In addition, print media and direct postal mailouts were utilised to get the message out to residents in the target area. A mail out of Autumn campaign material was undertaken to 10,000 homes in Greater Bunbury, Busselton and Dunsborough, while a number of media articles were printed in local newspapers.

Social media was also very effective in supporting the campaign, with the HRO Facebook page reaching 1,287 people and engaging 182 with Likes and Shares in Autumn. In addition, there were 1,205 hits and 1,853 page views on the HRO website. Some 86% of visitors are new to the site, indicating a significant increase in engagement over the period. Through these activities the program reached more than 15,800 people.

“This campaign is getting so much support from the local community, businesses and organisations, in addition to our formal project partners. They have assisted in spreading the word and have some local businesses have even provided sponsorship. It’s a real testament to the message and to our coastal communities for getting on board!”
Community Engagement Program Manager, Nerilee Boshammer.


This program is becoming embedded in the hearts and minds of south west WA locals. Crusty and Chrisso, our stuffed crab friends, are being increasingly recognised and very popular.

The active participation of a range of organisations, businesses and residents also strengthens the legacy of the campaign.

In saying this, the results of the survey delivered in 2015 indicate that further survey work is required in order to more accurately ascertain the degree of behaviour change facilitated by the Home River Ocean program.

Another future aim of this program is to start to address other, more complex, key urban fertilising behaviours beyond the timing of fertiliser application, including the frequency of application, type of fertiliser, soil amendments and wetting agents. These are all key behaviours that need to be addressed in order to reduce urban nutrient leaching into waterways.


Federal Member for Forrest, Honourable Nola Marino MP, is a big fan of Crusty and Chrisso!

1 television campaign

1 television campaign

100ha of urban land benefiting from management practice change

100ha of urban land benefiting from management practice change

Project Manager

Nerilee Boshammer

Key Partners

© 2022 South West Catchments Council


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