Bring in Nature for Rivercare

Biodiversity and Education Committee plans for coordinated action

Bring in Nature for Rivercare

Biodiversity and Education Committee plans for coordinated action

Capacity to Deliver -


The issue

The work of the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) is driven by the collaborative Masterplan which has 10 steps to deliver the mission of making Parramatta River swimmable by 2025.  Step 8 is Bring in Nature and states: Maintain, improve and create new habitats for the Parramatta River catchments [with the focus on] five iconic species mascots as indicators of water quality and catchment health.

This is an ambitious goal with six specific actions. The role of the Biodiversity and Education subcommittee is to share information on their organisation’s work towards this goal and to make recommendations to the Officers Group for decision making.  For our first in person gathering since covid struck, our workshop aims were to:  1.  to review, revise and produce a collaborative workplan to deliver on the PRCG Masterplan Step 8 Bring in Nature; and 2. to review the direction of Biodiversity and Education subcommittee to ensure that it effectively meets members needs as well as enabling action on the biodiversity actions and community engagement.

The solution

Jenny O’Meara and Vivce McGell from Sydney Olympic Park Authority gave an inspiring overview of the biodiversity protection and restoration work being done in this ecological haven along the Parramatta River. Carl Tippler, from CT Environmental, provided background to the Masterplan and the ecological framework. This was vital for newer members of the group.  Members of the committee reported on current projects such as the protection of the godwit habitat. 

We developed a workplan for three of the actions outlined in Step 8. 

  • Co design a citizen science regional program with scientifically valid and accessible data for community groups and councils.
  • Develop commonalities and champions where several councils are focusing on the same biodiversity issues (for example, in the estuarine reaches - coordinated mangrove and saltmarsh protection projects)
  • Establish an ongoing capacity building program by starting with a group directory and contact list. Many in the group have become ‘experts’ on particular species as a result of the projects they have worked on and can share this information.

The impact

We can better link clusters of councils working on the same species or ecological communities to share ideas and resources and workload. This will include coordination of timing of monitoring programs, shared data analysis and reporting.  It could also lead to joint development of community engagement material and liaising more on joint community citizen science activities..

Key facts

  • 10 member organisations attended
  • 17 participants
  • Developed an achievable workplan
  • Set agenda for meetings and workshops in upcoming year
  • Connected members to scientific research and management for highly relevant ecological restoration
  • Provided support for improved governance

Project Partners