The Victorian Government is helping to improve waterway health in the Barwon River through an innovative citizen science project tracking litter waste before it travels out to the bay.

The Victorian Government has teamed up with the Aquatic Environmental Stress Research Group scientists today, to launch GPS-enabled litter trackers into the Barwon River to simulate litter thrown in the catchments.

The State Government invested $29,790 towards Litter Trackers Project as part of the Coastcare grants program.

This project was led by researchers from RMIT University who will work with school and community groups to release and track litter items fitted to GPS devices in Geelong, Bellarine, and Surf Coast waterways.

Litter, specifically plastic, can be found in every environment on earth including some of Geelong’s significant waterways such as the Barwon River and the internationally Ramsar-listed Lake Connewarre.

The project aims to reduce litter ending up on our coast by educating local communities about the environmental cost of litter in our waterways. The project raises awareness about the issue of litter and empowers individuals with knowledge to make more sustainable decisions to drive change.

The Litter Trackers Project is working with schools, community groups, government, and industry partners to support healthy waterways across Geelong and build a more sustainable and liveable future for Geelong, Bellarine, and the Surf Coast.

Local Geelong schools involved in the initiative include Geelong High School and Northern Bay College, St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre, St Terese Catholic Primary School and North Geelong Secondary College.

The Litter Trackers project: ‘Burbs to the Bay’ is a collaborative citizen science project between RMIT University, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and Bellarine Catchment Network.

Victoria has invested $17 million towards improving our iconic urban waterways including $4.3 million towards the Rivers of the Barwon Action Plan that will protect and manage waterways in the Barwon catchment for the next five years.