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.

ENDS

Interviews Available

Media Contacts
Jonathon Bleakley – Media Manager | OzFish Unlimited
Jonathonbleakley@ozfish.org.au | 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.

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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.

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Landcare NSW Strategic Plan 2021-2022

I am pleased to present the Landcare NSW Strategic Plan 2021-2022 which has been developed in consultation with the NSW Landcare community with input and guidance from Landcare NSW Musters, Landcare NSW Council, Executive Committee and staff.

Landcare is a grassroots, iconic Australian institution that works endlessly to improve the health of our environment, farms and communities, delivering well over $500 million a year in triple bottom line benefits to NSW.

Landcare NSW is the peak body for community Landcare in NSW, representing the interests of around 60,000 Landcarers and approximately 3,000 Landcare, Bushcare, Coastcare, Dunecare, Rivercare and other ‘care’ groups.

The Landcare community’s passion, knowledge, dedication and effort underpins the Landcare movement’s unique value proposition, which in turn provides the building blocks and impetus for Landcare NSW’s continued growth and development.

I believe Landcare NSW has an exciting future.

This strategy is focused on the priorities of the State body but recognises that the purpose and guiding mission of Landcare NSW is to deliver what community Landcare needs in NSW.

Make no mistake – everything that is included in this strategic plan is for the benefit of the Landcare community. Landcare NSW is an enabler for Landcare groups in NSW to grow and prosper, to acquire the skills and resources they need to do the work on the ground.

The strategy is about evolution, innovation, collaboration, partnerships and growth. Building on Landcare’s 30-year history, heritage and track record of delivery, Landcare NSW has set out clear priorities that will deliver the resources and services the Landcare community needs to ensure a thriving future for the Landcare movement in NSW.

We hope you enjoy reading about the future direction of Landcare NSW. Please feel free to contact us with questions, feedback and comments: administration@landcarensw.org.au

Yours sincerely,

Dr Adrian Zammit | CEO
Landcare NSW Inc.

 

Landcare NSW Strategic Plan 2021-2022