Seed funding for the Richmond Riverkeeper – giving the rivers of the Richmond River catchment a community voice
Even before the floods of February and March 2022, the Richmond River catchment was known to be one of the most ecologically stressed catchments in NSW, with extremely poor ecosystem health. The Richmond Riverkeeper was formed to advocate for the river and waterways and the support from an NRCF Community Grant last year has taken the Richmond Riverkeeper from concept to reality.
Their mission – To ensure the rivers of the Richmond River catchment are drinkable, swimmable and fishable again.
The grant funding was used to develop a business strategy and website to support the startup of the Richmond Riverkeeper with a focus on opportunities for catchment-wide environmental restoration, cultural protocols, water quality and monitoring, and knowledge sharing.
Since forming in April 2022, Richmond Riverkeeper has held a series of Riveryarns in Lismore and Kyogle. They’ve also embarked on a number of research projects, including assisting to create an online data repository with Southern Cross University to understand how to manage the Richmond River catchment and restore its health.
Through engaging local communities and documenting community aspirations and preferences for the future state of the Richmond River and its catchment, the organisation hopes to shine a light on how the community uses and values the river and its water quality. This aims to provide a benchmark for management goals that will support future decision making, volunteer activity and help ensure investment accountability.
Grant recipient and co-founder of Richmond Riverkeeper, Kristin den Exter said:
“The establishment of the Riverkeeper website means the community can reach out to us, and share knowledge. The Richmond Riverkeeper Strategy means we know which direction we are headed in – walking together with communities across the catchment for improved river health – we can all be riverkeepers”
To read more about the work that Richmond Riverkeeper is doing or to get involved in their latest projects and events, visit richmondriver.org.au