OzGREEN programs connect youth with communities to become leaders of innovative sustainable social change

Community scientists and the scientific community working together to support the recovery of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle 

Bellingen Riverwatch was created to provide consistent water quality data in the Bellinger and Kalang catchments following a disease outbreak that caused a mass mortality event of the Critically Endangered Bellinger River Snapping Turtle (BRST) in early 2015. A lack of water quality data was identified by scientists and community alike as a priority focus area.

The waterways of the Bellingen Shire are highly valued by the local community and they they support many activities, such as recreation and supplementary drinking water. Ongoing water quality data is important for monitoring the rivers’ health, identifying priority areas for management actions and educating the community on how to reduce the impact they may be having on their environment. 

Read more about Bellingen Riverwatch


Our Volunteers

Bellingen Riverwatch engages 44 local community volunteers and 5 schools to collect monthly water quality data at 28 sites every month across the Bellinger, Never Never, and Kalang Rivers.


Want to volunteer with us? 

We test on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of each month, so if you are available on those days, have access to a car, and are interested in joining the team keeping an eye on our rivers, come to our next training days!

We're hosting two Volunteer Training Days on 2nd & 23rd September - place very limited - register here.

All volunteers need to also complete a Bellingen Riverwatch Registration Form prior to attending our events. 

Our Partners

Bellingen Riverwatch is an initiative of OzGREEN and The Department of Planning, Industry & Environment in partnership with Bellingen Shire Council, NSW Waterwatch, Western Sydney University, Taronga Zoo Sydney, Bellinger Landcare, Earthwatch Institute, Eco Logical Australia, North Coast Local Land Services and Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance.

It is rare to find a project with this level of sustained community engagement, paired with such strong and consistent partner collaboration and focus. The breadth of project partners reflects the importance placed on working together collaboratively with key stakeholders who have a role to play in catchment health and biodiversity. This partnership approach allows us to access the expertise and available resources of a strong group of organisations and individuals.

Our Objectives

  1. To meaningfully engage the community to provide long-term, scientifically robust water quality data to support recovery actions for the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle and other threatened species.
  2. To enable easy access to the data for the project stakeholders to aid decision making, guide research, inform policy, raise awareness.
  3. To communicate accessible data widely to increase awareness and understanding of river health and threatened species conservation and foster environmental stewardship within community members, landholders, and tourists.

Our Sites 

View Map of Bellingen Riverwatch Testing Sites here 

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