Miss Renae Riviere1
1Conservation Volunteers Australia, Hobart, Australia
1University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia, 2Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 3CSIRO Agriculture & Food, Adelaide, Australia, 4Griffiths University , Southport, Australia
In 2020, Conservation Volunteers Australia launched their new project aimed at tackling one of the worlds most solvable environmental issues – ocean litter. Launching a community engagement project in the middle of a pandemic, with lock downs in place across much of the country was certainly not without challenges, however in a few short months, we managed to build a community of supporters almost 4000 people strong. We initially launched an online participation platform for people to engage with the topic and take action at home before starting our on ground action in September.
The project is called #SeaToSource and is funded through the Federal Governments’ Environmental Restoration Fund. We currently have full time project officers located on 8 major river systems around the country. We’ve also been able to secure funding from a corporate partner for another full time Project Officer in a 9th location.
Key features of the program include; regular macro litter monitoring at representative samples of each location, community clean-ups, trialing of source reduction infrastructure, schools engagement and a National Day of Action taking place in April.
The project is called #SeaToSource because we know cleaning beaches is not enough. So, we’re focused not just on collecting litter from rivers and beaches; we’re working to understand where it is coming from and then engaging with communities to implement source reduction measures. Later in 2021, we’ll be launching a #SeaToSource leadership program, which will guide participants on an extended journey in leadership, community organisation and source reduction.
With a background in outdoor and environmental education, Renae started work at Conservation Volunteers in 2008. She is currently the Director of CVA’s Revive Campaign, which has a focus on community engagement in improving the health and function of coastal, riparian and aquatic habitats.