Bellingen Riverwatch wins community and river management awards

Amy Denshire, Bellingen Riverwatch Program Manager, OzGREEN, and Anna Juodvalkis, Partnerships Manager, OzGREEN, very excited to represent the Bellingen Riverwatch partners at the awards night and to receive recognition for the five-year-long leading-edge citizen science program that operates in the Bellinger and Kalang catchments.

BELLINGEN Riverwatch, one of the largest citizen science water quality monitoring programs in NSW and the largest citizen science macroinvertebrate monitoring program in Australia, received two awards at the River Basin Management Society Awards on Friday, 11 November in Melbourne.

Competing with projects from all around Australia and capital cities, this impressive program from the small town of Bellingen won the People’s Choice for and was a finalist in the Involving Community in Waterway Management category.

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“Our People’s Choice voting got 50 percent more than any other category which indicates the high level of support this community has for the program,” Program Manager Amy Denshire told News Of The Area.

Riverwatch representatives hope this recognition helps to propel the program forward.

“We aim to be an exemplar of best practice citizen science and are very much on the journey to becoming this.

“These awards help shine a light on the work we are doing, supporting the recovery of the critically endangered Bellinger River Snapping turtle and helping to protect our waterways while strengthening our community while we do it,” Amy said.

Bellingen Riverwatch sees more than 60 volunteers come together across two citizen science programs, to test local rivers for water quality and monitor macroinvertebrates, aka waterbugs.

“We also host events to foster connection between volunteers, the community, and the environment,” Sam Daykin, Bellingen Riverwatch Coordinator told NOTA.

“With the support of partners, the program is set to expand in 2023, with riverbank repair work at Gordonville Crossing, which our volunteers are very excited about.”

The Bellingen Riverwatch partnership would like to thank the community for the support they have for this program and would like to extend a massive congratulations to the incredible, dedicated Bellingen Riverwatch volunteers.

“Bellingen Riverwatch could not do this important work without the support of its partners and would like to thank the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Bellingen Shire Council, Healthy North Coast, Vendart Diagnostics, Vincent Fairfax Foundation, NSW Waterwatch, Bellinger Landcare Inc, EnviroComm Connections and OzGREEN,” said Amy.

If you are interested in joining the Bellingen Riverwatch family of volunteers, please contact Sam on


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