Georges Riverkeeper, one of the longest running catchment organisations in Australia, has a new home at Sutherland Shire Council, with Council set to host the peak waterways management body for the next four years.
The hosting agreement sees Georges Riverkeeper working in close partnership with Sutherland Shire Council’s Environmental Science and Shire Planning division on key environmental projects aimed at further improving the health of local waterways including the Georges River.
Sutherland Shire Council Mayor Steve Simpson welcomed the Georges Riverkeeper team to Council, saying that their work was vital in protecting the health of some of the Sutherland Shire’s most loved waterways and public spaces.
“Georges Riverkeeper contributes an extraordinary amount to the liveability of our region, keeping foreshores cleaner, improving biodiversity, and making the river more enjoyable for everyone,” Mayor Simpson said.
Georges Riverkeeper Program Manager, Peter Ryan, said the organisation had grown from a grass roots organisation to a major force committed to improving the health of the Georges River and catchment areas.
“Georges Riverkeeper started with committed volunteers using their own boats for river clean ups, and has since expanded to become a coordinated multi-council service, utilising Corrective Services NSW to remove about 72 tonnes of rubbish from the catchment in 2019-20 alone,” Peter said.
In addition to works throughout the Georges River catchment, Georges Riverkeeper has on-ground works in Sutherland Shire leading a number of key environmental projects, including:
- Removing litter at 24 sites,
- Rehabilitating Oyster Creek Gully in Jannali/Kirrawee, supported by Sutherland Shire Bushcare,
- Increasing fish habitat and the food web in the Georges River by expanding saltmarsh at sites including Rickard Road (Oyster Bay),
- Assisting The Australasian Wader Studies Group with shorebird monitoring around Woolooware and Towra Point,
- Monitoring mangroves at Towra Point,
- Conducting microplastic surveys at Taren Point and Towra Point,
- Undertaking water quality monitoring at 10 sites, and
- Overseeing an audit of Council’s gross pollutant traps in order to reduce the amount of litter in the river.