Home River Ocean



The Home River Ocean urban nutrient behaviour change program aims to reduce the amount of nutrients entering waterways from urban lawns and gardens along the South West coastline.

The program was developed by SWCC with the assistance of a Technical Advisory Group and key Project Partners, and encompasses a series of behaviour change campaigns that make the link between urban fertiliser use and the habitat of the Blue Swimmer Crab. This in turn makes the link to crabbing and other lifestyle factors.

Winter and autumn Save the Crabs, Then eat Them campaigns ran in 2014-15, targeting males aged 35 – 60 years old, by addressing winter fertilising and fertilising prior to rain. Both campaigns include a number of mass media and locally-driven initiatives, using humour and key elements consistently to increase campaign recognition.

The autumn campaign was launched in March 2015 and consisted of over 2251 TV spots and 94 radio spots throughout autumn 2015. The winter campaign consisted of over 3300 TV spots, 400 radio spots and 30 newspaper advertisements over winter 2013 and 2014.

Both campaigns are supported at the grass roots level through local, targeted initiatives, including mail outs of campaign material to targeted suburbs. Residents also have the opportunity to display signage at their homes to demonstrate their public commitment to the target behaviour. Campaign staff at hardware stores engage with customers at the point of purchase. Strategic marketing approaches have been developed for each stage of the behaviour change process, from awareness to adoption.

Over 240,000 South West residents have been reached through the various marketing approaches.

A Campaign Tracking survey of the winter campaign revealed a high level of campaign awareness, at 75 per cent of the community, compared to a 42 per cent prompted recall norm for social messages via government campaigns.

A behaviour change evaluation was conducted over a one year period and involved an initial baseline survey and follow-up survey of garden and fertiliser practices in a target (South West) and control (Perth metropolitan) area. This study found that although the use of some fertilisers reduced, the level of reduction was higher in the control area, therefore the overall results showed no significant change in fertiliser practices.

The autumn campaign will run again in 2016 and include a stronger focus on grassroots community engagement approaches to facilitate behaviour change.

“The autumn campaign builds on the success of our winter campaign, again using the Blue Swimmer Crab as the hero and emotive driver for change. The campaign literally brings the crab to life as the endearing crustaceans, Crusty and Chrisso.”

Sarah Molloy, SWCC Communications and Engagement Manager


Blue Swimmer Crabs are the most popular recreational fishing species in the South West.

1 urban nutrient behaviour change campaign delivered

2 urban nutrient behaviour change campaigns delivered

Key Partners

© 2022 South West Catchments Council


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