The health and wellbeing of our community is of utmost importance and Georges Riverkeeper is closely monitoring the advice and adhering to the directives of public health agencies to help stem the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community.
To address any concerns you may have regarding Coronavirus and recreational use of the Georges River, please refer to the latest information and advice provided by NSW Health:
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major affect upon all of our lives and we hope that the measures we are all taking will minimise harm. Unfortunately, pandemics occur periodically, effecting different species and in some cases have devastating effects. Such was the case for cultivated oysters in the Georges River.
After recent rain, Oyster Creek Gully in Sutherland Shire is looking stunning, with a lovely flow of water bubbling down the boulder-lined creek.
The rain has also led to an influx of annual weeds which is keeping the contractors working as part of our Oyster Creek Gully Restoration Project busy, for the time being.
Georges Riverkeeper staff were recently on site with Sutherland Shire Council and the contractors to assess the site's progression.
Over 30 shopping trolleys have been removed in just a few hours with the help of an excavator, as part of our restoration of Simmos Beach, Macquarie Fields. Unfortunately, the site has been a hot spot for dumping over the years with shopping trolleys creating an extensive blockage in the creekline. Rob Dixon from Georges Riverkeeper and Mat Misdale from Campbelltown City Council helped to get an excavator down into the site to remove the blockage after struggling with hand tools which were only capable of removing two trolleys at a time.
Georges Riverkeeper facilitated a workforce of 16 bus loads of teams from NSW Department of Justice - Corrective Services, per week, to remove 20,026 kilograms of rubbish from the catchment and waterways during the most recent quarter (January to March, 2020). This brings the yearly total of rubbish removed to 71,574 kilograms, so far, this financial year.
We are troubled to see COVID-19 affecting more and more businesses and industries, however, we are optimistic that Georges Riverkeeper can continue to proceed with traditional River Health monitoring activities at this time.
Our summer season of monitoring estuarine water quality was completed in March. We are currently monitoring the riparian vegetation, water quality and waterbugs in freshwater sites.
We will also undertake microplastics monitoring along the river, using AUSMAP methods.
On Sunday 8 March, 60 volunteers removed 1 tonne of marine debris from the Georges River during the Georges River Clean Up which incorporated a Paddle Against Plastic event.
This community day was held as part of a broader clean up conducted by Ocean Crusaders and Georges Riverkeeper, funded through the office of David Coleman MP and the Federal Government’s Communities Environment Program, that removed a total of 10.9 tonnes of rubbish from the river over a 7 day period.
We are pleased to announce that Pete Ryan commenced as Georges Riverkeeper Program Manager in March 2020, replacing Beth Salt, who is currently on maternity leave.
Pete looks forward to working cooperatively with the Riverkeeper team, Executive, Member Councils, and government and community representatives to improve the health of the Georges River and catchment areas.