River health grants celebrate community contributions to healthy waterways

Environmental community groups across Melbourne will share in more than $980,000 to support their work improving Melbourne’s waterways as part of Melbourne Water’s River Health Incentives Program.

Some 185 grants were awarded to support not-for-profit community groups to complete works along rivers and creeks and raise awareness of the importance of healthy waterways. This represents the highest number of community grants awarded in the 22-year history of the incentives program.

Grants support activities on public land along waterways, including weed control and revegetation. They are also available to help volunteer groups with administrative and training costs.

Melbourne Water’s Acting General Manager of Waterways and Land, Kirsten Shelly, said healthy rivers and creeks helped maintain Melbourne’s status as one of the world’s most liveable cities.

“We know Melbourne’s rivers and creeks are a favourite place for people to exercise and relax with family and friends,” Ms Shelly said.

“It’s important we remember that dedicated volunteers spend hundreds of hours removing weeds and litter and planting trees to improve waterway habitats for plants and animals, as well as making our rivers and creeks enjoyable places for Melburnians to visit.

“So much of the transformation we see today is due to the success of the partnerships we have forged with schools, the community, councils and land owners through the River Health Incentives Program.”

The Healthy Waterways Community Grants are part of Melbourne Water’s River Health Incentives Program, which provides funding to councils, schools, land holders and community groups to assist their works to protect and improve waterways.