Enabling multiple environmental and social benefits
Managing natural capacity wisely
Creating confident communities
Enhancing social capital
Celebrating and enjoying our rivers
‘We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together’
– Simon Sinek
Our approach to river, riparian and wetland restoration.
We value our rivers and wetlands for the multiple benefits they provide – life-giving water, plants, animals, transport, economic wealth, recreation, carbon sequestration. and the spiritual connection so many of us feel when we sit or walk along a riverbank. It is the connection between our ‘natural’ and ‘social’ capital that underpins all that we do, with our projects reflecting our belief that the needs of people and nature are intertwined.
We believe that because river restoration is as much a social, as an environmental issue. If we fail to recognise the value of people and just focus on ‘fixing’ a problem with technical solutions, we will ultimately fail in our river restoration efforts. This is because we need people to own and connect to our river restoration and management efforts so that the ‘fixes’ we propose can support the longer term behavioural and land-use change that we need for our riverine communities to survive and thrive.
Recap of our recent ‘Buffers, Sponges & Moderators’ film launch
Our river and riparian restoration projects.
Find our more about how this approach is put into action by looking through our projects below.
We work closely with these organisation and people to restore and protect Australia’s waterways.
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Frequently asked questions
Why do we need to restore rivers?
Our rivers provide humans, plants and animals alike with life-giving water, without which we cannot survive. We need to restore those rivers that have been negatively affected by human development so that good quality water is available for the many environmental, social and economic benefits they provide.
What is a river of carbon?
A river of carbon describes the sum total of carbon that is found and can be captured in rivers, riparian habitats and the terrestrial systems they connect with. The phrase encompasses the carbon in the plants, animals and soils that are found in-stream and on the land connected to river systems. As with the carbon cycle, rivers of carbon is a dynamic concept that that is influenced by the cycle of the river itself, the prevailing climate and the management practices in place.
What is natural capital?
Natural capital is the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things. It is from this natural capital that humans derive a wide range of services, often called ecosystem services, which make human life possible.
What is a riparian buffer strip?
The riparian zone is where land and water meets. Riparian buffers are the natural vegetation that extends from the edge of the stream bank (semi-aquatic plants including reeds and sedges) out through the riparian zone (grasses, shrubs and trees). The vegetative zone serves as a buffer to pollutants entering a stream from runoff, controls erosion, and provides habitat and nutrient input. Riparian buffer strips are hotspots for biodiversity, and this makes them important parts of our landscape to protect and restore.
What is the problem with willows?
Willow colonization causes environmental impacts on stream and wetland health. The trees have dense root systems that maximize water uptake and form thickets that allow trees to grow across stream beds, as the roots trap more and more sediment. Water movement is slowed and may be diverted around these dense thickets, causing stream bank erosion as water is diverted outside the natural stream channel. Willows are also hybridising, furthering their spread and colonising many large and small river reaches.
Most willows in Australia have been classified as Weeds of National Significance because of their extensive spread and threats to stream ecology and flow. It is illegal to sell or plant willows in Australia, with the exception of Salix babylonica (Weeping Willow), Salix calodendron and Salix richardii (both sub-species of Pussy Willow).
What is social capital?
Social capital broadly refers to those factors of effectively functioning social groups that include such things as interpersonal relationships, a shared sense of identity, a shared understanding, shared norms, shared values, trust, cooperation, and reciprocity. In essence our social capital is made up of people, networks and relationships.