Bellingen Shire Riverwatch release results for National Water Week

Sue Lennox, Ruby Oliver-King and Bec Oliver-King. Photo: OzGREEN.


BELLINGEN Riverwatch (BR) has released new river condition reports for the waterways of Bellingen Shire for National Water Week, which runs from October 18-24, 2021.

The 17 partners that work together to lead BR, one of the largest water quality monitoring programs taking place in NSW, report the findings of the last four years of citizen science data collected by 43 local volunteers at 30 sites across the Bellinger and Kalang catchments.

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Both catchments scored 95% for the number of results that fall within Fair, Good or Very Good as according to partner guidelines (see and both catchments scored 93% or above for every 12-month period shown.

These results verify the partners’ scientific understanding that these are unique river systems and some of the healthiest and most pristine rivers in Australia.

However, BR has identified a number of sites showing poorer results along Caratti Creek, Spicketts Creek, Never Never River, Bellinger River and Kalang River.

“With the huge loss of biodiversity happening across the globe, it is important that we maintain a focus on protecting Earth’s healthier ecosystems that foster high biodiversity,” said Program Manager Amy Denshire.

The BR partnership is asking all residents and tourists to work together to take actions to care for and protect these incredibly valuable ecosystems.

“Even small changes to a catchment can have large downstream impact.

“Everything we do in our backyards or on our riverbank affects water quality in our river.

“No matter whether you’re living on the river or in town, it’s hugely important to be mindful of what impact your actions will have,” said Justine Elder, Bellingen Shire Council.

“To be a part of the generation that cares for and helps to keep these rivers pristine for the future is a real privilege and our partners believe the Bellingen Shire community and the people that visit this area are perfectly placed to take this on.

“We have an opportunity here to work together to both protect biodiversity that rely on these rivers and to ensure that future generations do not have to pay the high costs of rehabilitation,” said Amy.

Other important aspects of protecting pristine rivers include revegetating riverbanks and continuing the long-term collection and collation of data to assess changes over time.

View the Data Portal at, learn how to help the river at or subscribe to BR updates at




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