The Parramatta River Catchment Group is on a mission to make Parramatta River swimmable by 2025. But we can’t do it alone! A Riverkeeper has been appointed to establish a network of care for the health of the Parramatta River and surrounding catchment.
About the Riverkeeper Network
The Riverkeeper Network includes individuals, community groups and organisations, businesses, projects and things to do along the river and in the catchment.
Keep reading to find out about the network and our plans or you can attend a Riverkeeper Network meeting. If you belong to an organisation we can arrange for a Riverkeeper Ambassador or a member of our team to be a guest speaker at one of your events.
Become a Riverkeeper
Why would my organisation want to join the Riverkeeper Network?
- To be a part of an amazing campaign
- To receive assistance and support for your own projects via:
- assistance in applying for and Riverkeeper endorsement of grant applications
- access to scientific and council expertise
- access to a pool of resources
- expanded opportunities for media/social media coverage of your event/project.
- To plan and execute more ambitious events and projects via:
- connecting with organisations across the catchment
- working with other groups for access to larger, catchment wide grants.
- To have access to other Riverkeeper initiatives (which will be implemented over the coming year) including:
- River Warriors energetic souls, trained through the Riverkeeper network to drive on ground projects.
- River Ambassadors a group of passionate community speakers.
- River Aware a toolkit for homes, streets and communities.
Won’t this mean more work for me and my group, when I just want to stay local?
The level of involvement you and your group has in the network is entirely up to you. Once you are signed up, you can determine how involved you want to be, for example:
- Be contacted by the Riverkeeper only when there is something happening in your area.
- Signup to the newsletter so that you can pick projects and events that you would like to be part of.
- Use the Riverkeeper network to promote your events and projects.
- Ask the Riverkeeper for assistance in applying for grants and getting projects and events up and running.
The Parramatta River Riverkeeper is funded through the Local Landcare Coordinators Initiative, funded by the NSW Government and supported through the partnership of Local Land Services and Landcare NSW.
There are number of great projects underway in the catchment which you can be involved in. These projects all relate to the Parramatta River and help us with our goal of making the Parramatta River swimmable.
The Riverkeeper successfully applied for funding to kick off a River Aware pilot and is about to start rolling this out.
River Aware is a community project aimed to increase public awareness around their impact on the river and generate demand for water efficiency technology in much the same way energy efficiency has now permeated public awareness and acceptability. River Aware will turn targeted households into river aware streets and create river aware communities through a highly interactive and educational program. The end result will be the conversion of whole communities actively practicing river aware lifestyles.
With the launch of our eco-health report, we have five mascots that we will focus on to help drive projects to improve the ecological health of the river. We will be developing initiatives and citizen science projects to restore the habitat of these mascot animals and hence increase their ability to thrive in the catchment. Two of the mascots, the eastern long necked turtle and the Bar tailed godwit are already receiving attention from our members with the Talkin’ Turtle event and the Canada Bay Dog Saves Birds campaign.
One of our affiliates, the Bundilla Scout Camp has been working with the Riverkeeper on a 10-year plan to restore the riparian zone of the Toongabbie Creek, with two very successful events already undertaken.
Resources and information for the project was supplied by members of the PRCG including City of Parramatta Council, Greater Sydney Landcare Network and the Impeesa Bushcare group.
Other projects currently in the planning stage include a trial oyster bed near the Baludarri Wetlands, and a campaign with affiliates Bass Sydney and Addventagous to install a fish ladder at the Asylum weir, opening up 19 km of habitat upstream to migratory water species.
There are also a number of Citizen Science projects that you can participate in.
Riverkeeper Ambassadors are community members who are passionate about the Parramatta River or a particular aspect of it. To achieve our goal of making the Parramatta River swimmable, we need to connect with each of the one million residents and businesses in the catchment. To do this I need a team of passionate, enthusiastic, articulate and committed volunteers to help me!
Would you like to publicly share your passion for the ecology or history and/or be part of the team that is going to make the Parramatta River swimmable?
We currently have three amazing Ambassadors:
Cathy Merchant ‘Turtle Ambassador’, who organised an amazing ‘Talkin’ Turtle’ event based around the Eastern Long Necked Turtle, one of our five mascot species for the River, and is in the process of organising some eel talks for this year.
Paula Coleman, our ‘Vineyard Creek’ ambassador has taken on an unloved patch of hidden beauty and organises regular clean up days for volunteers and corporate groups.
Charlene Bordley, from Addventageous (a cycling based social enterprise) organises Fish Ladder bike tours, a tour along the Parramatta River looking at the four obstacles in the way of estuarine fish passage. Along the way birds are identified, environmental concerns are logged with council and participants learn about the role of the 5 Parramatta River Catchment Mascots in helping up make Parramatta River swimmable.