Media Release: Landcare NSW and OzFish launches citizen science initiative to help bushfire affected waterways in NSW 

Joint Media Release

Monday 6th December

OzFish in partnership with Landcare NSW has today announced a state-wide citizen science program in a bid to monitor the recovery of waterways since the 2019-2020 Black Summer Bushfires.

Aptly named Waterway Fire Science, the project which is funded by the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants program aims to mobilise community groups and recreational fishers to self-monitor the recovery of their local waterways. Volunteers will use a range of water sampling techniques that will contribute to ongoing research efforts and future bushfire recovery programs.

OzFish’s Project Officer for NSW South Coast, Lucas Kas is enthusiastic about the immediate impact citizen scientists can have.

“The more people we can get to roll up their sleeves and get out in the field to collect data, the clearer the picture we will have of the rate of recovery,” said Lucas.

“Understanding the way these systems are recovering is key to minimising the impact fires have in the future. It allows OzFish and our partners to see what activities will increase the resilience and revival of our waterways after fire events.”

“Bushfires are inevitable in Australia, but residents can now get involved in how to help habitat revive,” said Lucas.

OzFish and Landcare NSW are calling upon community members interested in making a positive contribution to their local waterways, to get involved.

Through the partnership, OzFish will provide training on identifying the impacts fire has on riparian vegetation, water quality and riverbank stability, as well as how to measure, monitor, respond to, and commence recovery of impacted waterways.

Landcare NSW Chair, Stephanie Cameron said local Landcare groups, recreational fishers and individuals can access training and increase their skills and knowledge to make a real difference on the ground.

“Training will be provided through a series of both online and in-field workshops across NSW, of which the dates and locations will be announced in early 2022,” said Stephanie.

“Volunteers will also learn how to collect key readings of vegetation, as well as harnessing exciting new technologies like eDNA to confirm the presence of any species in the area.

“At each event all equipment will be provided to allow volunteers to carry out a range of monitoring techniques such as water bug sampling and mapping terrestrial and aquatic fauna using underwater cameras,” said Stephanie.

If you’d like to get involved or hear more about the project, head over to Waterway Fire Science – OzFish Unlimited and click on the Waterway Fire Science page under projects and register your interest now.

This Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.


Interviews Available

Media Contacts
Jonathon Bleakley – Media Manager | OzFish Unlimited | 0402171914

About OzFish 
OzFish Unlimited is a national fishing conservation charity established to improve the health of our rivers, lakes and estuaries. It is a member-based organisation dedicated to make our fishing grounds healthy, vibrant and more productive. Their active work includes; habitat restoration such as resnagging, riverbank planting, fishways, shellfish reefs and educational and community capacity building programs.

About Landcare NSW
Landcare NSW is the peak body and voice of community Landcare in NSW. Our mission is to care for the land and the environment. The Landcare movement is a community-based approach to managing and protecting our natural resources – creating more productive and sustainable farms, conserving our environment, and building more cohesive and resilient communities. Landcare connects you to on-ground activities where you can volunteer with like-minded individuals who have a passion for caring for country.



Landcarers across NSW have planted over 30,000 trees as part of the Landcare NSW and Transport for NSW Bushfire Revegetation funding.

All planted within 50km of a bushfire affected zone, Landcare NSW Operations Manager, John McLoughlin, says the project was just another way Landcare is helping support projects that assist native flora and fauna back to health.

“The past two years have significantly affected our landscapes and our community. Our Landcare NSW community have done incredible work in supporting our landscapes in response to the destruction. Whether maintaining existing refuges, pest control so native species can recover, or revegetation works like tree planting they’ve been inspiring. This project is just one of the many ways they have helped,” says John.

“Indeed, many revegetation projects in the Northern Rivers were badly affected by the floods and so this funding helped repair the existing sites that were affected by both.”

Spread throughout all of NSW from Northern NSW hinterland to the Alpine regions, 28 Landcare NSW Member Groups put up their hand to plant trees by the end of June and despite COVID they rose to the challenge.

“The Landcare NSW & Transport for NSW Bushfire Revegetation Funding has been highly successful with 31,988 trees planted by 23 bushfire impacted community organisations across NSW. Our groups originally were planting 27,765 but there was a groundswell movement with many reporting in-kind plantings bringing our total to nearly 32,000!”

The plantings were held across 110 sites to ensure landscape scale restoration and a diversity of both geographic areas and native species benefiting for the project. Approximately over 300 different species endemic to the local landscape were planted as part of the project.

“Many of the trees planted will help support threatened species throughout NSW who are struggling in response to the bushfires. These include the glossy black cockatoo, koalas, glider species and flora and fauna. By investing in the further rehabilitation and development of local biodiversity this funding will ensure that threatened species are supported to recover.”

Whian Whian Landcare Group Member and Border Ranges Richmond Valley Local Landcare Coordinator, Emma Stone, said the funding was welcomed with open arms, with the flexibility being its strongest asset.

“This project had a target of 3,500 trees but with there was such fantastic support for the revegetation ventures that we achieved more and planted 4,668 trees in the ground.

“The project supported plantings on 17 properties which was nearly 50% of the Whian Whian Landcare membership and has really strengthened morale and motivation within the group with landholders working together to achieve the target.

“Our biggest focus is supporting existing species to recovery as well as planting next to existing corridors to provide species protection for animals such as the koala.

“There has already been expressions of interest to plant further trees and explore further opportunities like the Bushfire Revegetation Project and help our native wildlife recover!”

Media Release: Landcare NSW welcomes federal grants for regions impacted by Black Summer

Landcare NSW welcomes grants of approximately $50,000 and $300,000 now available for local bushfire recovery projects in regions impacted by Black Summer bushfires

 21st May, 2021

Local Landcare groups, environment networks and community groups working on bushfire recovery projects can now access funding of approximately $50,000 in a landmark new grants program funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Recently announced by Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley, the $14 million Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants program is supporting recovery projects in seven government designated regions impacted by the Black Summer bushfires in Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia, four of which are in NSW.

NSW Landcare communities in the NSW North Coast and Tablelands, NSW Greater Blue Mountains and World Heritage area, forests of the NSW South Coast, NSW alpine environments are target areas for the funding.

In addition to funding of approximately $50,000, landscape-scale partnerships working together on bushfire recovery projects can also access funding of approximately $300,000.

Landcare NSW CEO, Dr Adrian Zammit said the funding will ensure that community-led environmental activities will be delivered in the most vulnerable bushfire-impacted regions.

“Our communities have been ravaged by fire, drought and flood and this funding will benefit habitats and landscapes through landscape restoration, improving biodiversity and supporting community resilience.”

“From revegetation and regeneration projects to invasive species control, data collection and community engagement, the diversity of funding will ensure all bushfire impacted communities have the support they need to rebuild and recover.”

The grants program will be co-delivered by all the relevant peak state Landcare bodies who will work together to support project applicants, and coordinate a wide range of high-impact on-ground community and environmental projects over the next 12 months for community landcare.

Applications for grants will remain open until June 16 with successful applicants notified late June.

To apply and for further information visit

Available for interview

Landcare NSW CEO, Dr Adrian Zammit

This grants program is jointly managed by Landcare Australia and the National Landcare Network, delivered in conjunction with Queensland Water and Land Carers, Landcare NSW, Landcare ACT, Landcare Victoria, and the Landcare Association of South Australia to mobilise, build capacity, increase participation and support Landcare and community groups, landowners, land managers and other partners for improved delivery of bushfire recovery actions. 

The Program has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat

Media Release: Landcare NSW and OzFish driving fish habitat improvements in NSW

Joint Media Release

Monday 30th November

The Landcare NSW and OzFish partnership to deliver improved fish habitat in NSW has achieved close to one million dollars of habitat restoration work in its first twelve months.

With an initial investment from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts of $200 000, the two groups have attracted an additional $330,000 cash investment and over $500,000 in-kind support into fish habitat restoration work for the state’s inland rivers and coastal waterways.

The partnership focuses on local groups coming together to determine their waterway’s fish habitat needs and to take action to improve it. Under the expert guidance from the OzFish team, groups devised a range of projects including, re-snagging, trash racks, re-planting, fish monitoring, weeding, fencing and clean-ups.

Cassie Price, OzFish’s Director of Habitat Programs said, ‘We know everyone is having a challenging year, but it is amazing what Landcare and OzFish volunteers have achieved together despite the conditions out there on the ground.

“There are now 14,300 more trees along NSW riverbanks that will provide shade and stable water temperatures, insect fall and eventually snags for fish. Sixty more snags in our rivers installed which will provide instant homes, shelter and food for fish, along with 30km of riverbank weeded, cleaned up and restored. Plus a trash rack stopping litter, eight engagement events, and a search for a lost fish in Sydney.”

The real value in the partnership was seen in the mobilisation of five hundred recreational fishers and Landcarers who got involved in a wide variety of new restoration initiatives bringing ideas, energy and enthusiasm to the table and over 2,000 hours of volunteer time to improve their local waterway.

“There is a lot of work that goes into delivering these outcomes. It’s a credit to each of these communities, that they have dedicated groups willing to volunteer for their local rivers and for fish’ she said.

“We are happy to be celebrating the achievements of year one of our partnership, and the work continues,” Cassie said.

Landcare NSW CEO Adrian Zammit agreed, “Landcare NSW is thrilled to see this partnership deliver such amazing results for NSW. The results delivered so far are clear evidence that NRM challenges require close collaboration and partnerships between like-minded organisations.”

The project was made possible with funding support from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts and BCF Boating Camping and Fishing.


Support for your waterway project is now available through a new partnership


OzFish and Landcare are working together in NSW 

Together we can double our efforts for your local waterways, water quality and fish habitats.

If you’re doing great things for your local waterway – but could use some more hands and resources then this is the time to read more.

Have you been wanting to do a waterway project, but weren’t sure where to start? Need a hand with the planning so your group can get involved? Then look no further.

We’re calling for projects in NSW where OzFish and Landcare can work together. This quick online expression of interest form is all you need to complete and we’ll get in touch with you straight away.

Here’s 5 great reasons why you should:

  • Technical support from OzFish scientists for planning your waterway project
  • Fresh new project ideas with some innovative activities for your members
  • Extra volunteers through the OzFish and Landcare networks working together
  • Access to fundraising opportunities through OzFish major partner – BCF
  • Access to funding to leverage your grant applications from OzFish and their partner 

Need inspiration?
Your project could include; fish hotels, re-snagging, riparian vegetation, vegetative filter strips, litter clean ups, seagrass re-seeding, fish habitat mapping, removing in-stream barriers, pump-screening, stock fencing and troughs, saltmarsh restoration, oyster shell recycling and more!

Get in touch
If you would like to discuss your project idea or need help getting in touch with your local OzFish group or Landcare group, please get in touch, we can help you connect the dots. 

Braeden Lampard for inland areas on 0432 656 835 

Cassie Price for coastal areas on 0402 408 791