The ACT Government, through the ACT Natural Resource Management unit, has entered into the grants below with local, environment-focused community groups. These are in addition to the ACT Environment Grants, ACT Farmers Support Package and ACT Rural Grants which can be found on our Grants and support packages page.
Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch
The Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch program (Waterwatch) is a key component of water quality monitoring and community engagement for the ACT Government.
Waterwatch has been running in the ACT region since 1995. There are approximately 230 active monitoring sites across the region, from Tantangara Dam to Burrinjuck Dam over an area of more than 11,500km2 with over 200 volunteers.
Waterwatch has partnered with Molonglo, Southern ACT and Ginninderra Catchment Groups to implement the program for nearly 25 years, generating valuable, long-term water quality data and engaging thousands of school students and community members in catchment health issues.
The three separate deeds (one with each Catchment Group) are each for three years and would amount to $268,500 each (excluding GST). This covers 3 days per week to implement the core volunteer monitoring program and an additional 4 hours per week primarily to deliver catchment education to school students in the ACT region.
Healthy Waterways and Nature Connectedness
$375,000 was committed in 2020-21 to support the ACT's three community-based catchment groups with $125,000 each in their work to increase the health of each catchment and its people, focusing on the following outcomes:
- Strong community stewardship of urban waterways
- Measurable improvement in community 'stormwater literacy'
- A more resilient and nature-connected community
- Reduced stormwater pollution, especially nutrient pollution, coming from suburbs
The grants were distributed as follows:
- Ginninderra Catchment Group – Healthy Waterways and Nature Connection in the Ginninderra Catchment – $125,000
- Molonglo Conservation Group – Healthy Waterways and Nature Connectedness in the Molonglo Catchment of the ACT – $125,000
- Southern ACT Catchment Group – Healthy Waterways and Resilient, Nature-connected People in Southern ACT – $125,000
Southern ACT Catchment Group and Ginninderra Catchment group have been granted $10,000 each for community education through drain stencilling, with work to be completed during 2021-22. Each group will apply informational stencils on or near stormwater drain sumps in ten high-pedestrian areas such as shopping centres, alerting the community to the importance of clean stormwater to healthy waterways.
Bushfire recovery – orchids
The Orchid Society of Canberra has received a grant of $2000 towards their work on the conservation of fire-affected local wild orchid species.
The 2019 to 2020 ACT summer fires severely burnt 80% of the Namadgi National Park where up to 100% of some rare orchid populations were located. Orchids represent 7 out of 19 (37%) of the rare plant populations where the ACT had nationally important populations within the burnt areas. Orchids also represent another 12 taxa in these areas that are common elsewhere but rare or uncommon in the ACT.
The Orchid Society of Canberra will use the grant to conduct and report on the following projects:
- Post-Fire Orchid Surveys for Diuris subalpina
- Post-Fire Orchid Surveys for Comparison with Historic Data (all species)
- Endangered Species Protection and Recovery
- Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch
- ACT Healthy Waterways
- Southern ACT Catchment Group
- Molonglo Conservation Group
- Ginninderra Catchment Group
- Orchid Society of Canberra
For more information email ACTNRM@act.gov.au.