Environment, Climate Change and Water Minister Lisa Neville today recognised the vital role volunteers play in waterway health monitoring at the launch of action plans for Victoria’s EstuaryWatch and Waterwatch programs.
Ms Neville launched the EstuaryWatch Victoria Plan 2015 and the Waterwatch Victoria Plan 2015 at a community event at Balyang Sanctuary near the Barwon River in Geelong with monitoring volunteers and schoolchildren from local citizen science programs.
Waterwatch and EstuaryWatch, which are both citizen science programs, support and encourage groups and individuals to become actively involved in monitoring the health of our rivers, wetlands and estuaries.
The plans map the direction of the two programs for the next eight years with the aim of increasing community participation and providing credible and reliable data to help inform waterway management decision making.
Volunteers with EstuaryWatch monitor coastal sites at 19 estuaries and Waterwatch volunteers monitor sites across the state at a range of waterways.
The information gained through these programs plays an important role in informing decisions about artificial estuary entrance openings, algal bloom management, acid sulphate soil impacts on estuarine condition, works on waterways, environmental water management and extreme flood events.
People interested in volunteering can contact their regional catchment management authority for details of the closest program.
Through these programs a network of coordinators encourage volunteers to become involved by:
- Providing water quality and biological monitoring training and support to volunteers, schools and a range of community groups;
- Supporting school and community education and providing awareness-raising activities; and
- Facilitating partnership opportunities around the health of our rivers – between all levels of government, private business and the community.
The plans are available online at and
Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville
“The Andrews Labor Government recognises the critical role played by volunteers in protecting the health of our waterways.”
“Our Waterwatch and EstuaryWatch programs play an invaluable part in helping volunteers care for the environment and work together to build a sense of community.”
“Teaching kids about our coasts and waterways is something that’s great for the kids themselves – and will help ensure future generations continue to care for our unique natural environment.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021