Launch of first-ever Riverkeeper Report Card shows catchment-wide efforts of Georges River cleanup
The first-ever report card demonstrating the cleanup efforts of the Georges Riverkeeper program has been released. Since 1999, the Riverkeeper program has provided on-ground cleanup and restoration works to minimise the impacts of urbanisation on the Georges River. The Report Card shows catchment-scale program statistics in rubbish collection and bush regeneration undertaken by the Riverkeeper Program from July 2010 to June 2011.
The program is run by the Georges River Combined Councils Committee (GRCCC) which is an association of 9 local government councils within the Georges River Catchment. These councils jointly fund the Riverkeeper Program to undertake on ground works across the Georges River catchment.
The two main focus areas for the program are to 1) remove rubbish (gross pollutants) from the river foreshores, creeks and tributaries which enter via the conventional stormwater into the river, or as a result of illegal dumping and littering and 2) increase the biodiversity of remnant bushland and riparian (river bank) vegetation through the targeted removal of weeds, revegetation and natural regeneration.
The Riverkeeper program works regularly with teams from volunteer organisations such as the National Parks Association and other interested community groups and works with participants of the National Green Job Corp program to perform bush regeneration. The GRCCC also partners with Corrective Services NSW in the program and uses work teams comprised of individuals on Intensive Correction Orders.
In the 2010 – 2011 financial year Riverkeeper rubbish collection teams have worked at over 80 sites and contributed 4,821 hours, collecting nearly 33,000kgs of rubbish. Bush regeneration teams have contributed 4,453 hours, covering almost 20,000m2.
“In April 2011, the number of Riverkeeper teams increased from 3 teams to 10 teams every week and based on the current 7 tonnes of rubbish we are pulling out each month, we expect to collect 80,000kgs of rubbish by the end of the current financial year”, Riverkeeper Co-ordinator Tony Wales said.
The Riverkeeper program works closely with several state government agencies. These include the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Office of Environment and Water’s Estuary Management Program and Corrective Services NSW.
The GRCCC is an incorporated association of nine local government councils working in partnership with state and federal government agencies and community representatives within the Georges River catchment. It represents local government in the Georges River catchment of NSW. Member councils include Bankstown City, Campbelltown City, Fairfield City, Hurstville City, Kogarah City, Liverpool City, Rockdale City, Sutherland Shire and Wollondilly Shire councils. The GRCCC is proudly hosted by Hurstville City Council, 2009-2012.
For a copy of the Report Card visit www.georgesriver.org.au
For more information on the program, or to volunteer, please contact email@example.com