Georges Riverkeeper Annual Report 2018/19 shows we achieved a lot for the river in the last financial year. It has been the first year that we have implemented the Georges Riverkeeper Strategic Plant 2018-2022. Outcomes have aligned with five strategic focuses: Catchment Action Program (litter removal and bush regeneration), River Health Monitoring Program, Stormwater Program, Research Program, and Education & Capacity Building Program.
One of the features of the Annual Report 2018/19 is the map on page 6 showing River Health grades at selected estuary sites. River Health data in the Georges River Report Card 2017-18 reported that low rainfall was associated with water quality being better than usual in the upper estuary. Estuarine surveys over 2018/19 showed that the improvement in water quality was only temporary: water quality declined in the upper estuary in association with higher rainfalls over the year. An additional metric to be included on future Report Cards, that was trialled in 2018/19, was amounts of microplastic on shorelines, determined using the methods of AUSMAP (Australian Microplastics Assessment Project), being applied across Australia.
Page 4 also makes for interesting reading, showing that our Catchment Actions Program prevented approximately 110 tonnes of rubbish from entering the Georges River in the last financial year.