How it all began...
Our River Warriors initiative came into being in northern NSW during Plastic Free July 2017. Our good friends at the Byron Cookie Shack had noticed how much rubbish was accumulating across the Brunswick River, especially after storm and flood events.
Teaming up with the Byron Cookie Shack, as well as Go Sea Kayaks, Byron Bay Eco Cruises and Kayaks and Mullum Cares we ran a 12km clean of the river as part of our Plastic Free July initiatives in the Byron Shire. With 36 incredible volunteers, we collected over 1 tonne of trash!
This prompted us to take this one-off event further and, after putting together a survey model, we decided to look into ongoing marine debris and water quality monitoring projects in waterways that were known to accumulate huge amounts of marine debris, with little being done to address the problem. Our River Warriors initiative was born!
What does the River Warriors initiative do?
The model is simple - during Phase I we run kayak-based surveys to collect baseline data on marine debris in waterways. We then produce a State of Marine Debris Report and Marine Debris Report Card, which rates waterways from A (best) to F (worst) based upon three key variables.
Phase II identifies accumulation hotspots, implements stakeholder engagement/outreach programs based upon our findings and runs public-facing clean-ups to enable a shift in behaviour, addressing the issue at its source.
River Warriors works with schools, universities, local businesses, residents and community groups through hands-on programs, which connect them to their waterways, fostering a sense of stewardship around the environmental, social and economic importance of these vital natural places.
Our River Warriors projects are proudly sponsored by:
Active River Warriors Projects
Photographs © Positive Change for Marine Life