Kayak trips reinforce important message about river health

More than 100 people took part in four kayak trips in North West NSW in November to learn about riverine health and how to keep local rivers and riparian areas healthy.

The trips were hosted by CottonInfo on rivers at Moree, Mungindi and Boggabilla, to help raise awareness of the importance of native vegetation and its management.

CottonInfo’s natural resource technical specialist, Stacey Vogel, coordinated the events, which also featured two ecologists.

Aquatic ecologist Dr Harry Balcombe informed participants about the indicators for healthy rivers and how they can monitor the health of their local river.

Terrestrial ecologist Phil Spark provided a hands on demonstration of native plants and animals and their habitats; capturing a number of these animals - microbats, turtles, lizards, frogs, snakes and even the elusive native water rat - before releasing them back into the wild.

“Bubbles the carpet snake was a huge hit with the kids, along with paddling out to check the turtle traps that Phil had set in the river,” Mrs Vogel said.

“Meanwhile, Dr Harry had families catching and identifying waterbugs! The trips were very interactive, providing a fun experience for the local families, while also being educational.

“We focused on putting science into action, talking about best management practices for riparian environments and rivers, and the benefits for cotton growers and the general community in maintaining healthy river systems,” Mrs Vogel said.

CottonInfo ran the events in conjunction with local organisations, the North West Local Land Services and the Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association, with funding from the National Landcare program and the Australian Government. Other speakers included CottonInfo’s Alice Devlin and North West Local Land Services’s Emily Doolan.

For more information on natural resource and riparian management, view our NRM page