Boosting climate resilience along the Derwent

Why wetlands?Wetlands are the superstar amongst ecosystems and their special superpower comes in handy to combat climate change: they sequester carbon up to 40 times faster than forests and store it for thousands of years! This makes them the perfect partner in our quest towards climate resilience, plus they can even contribute to urban cooling and local climate regulation. We experience climate change first-hand when summers are dry and it just won’t rain – this is where wetlands can offer relief and shelter for wildlife, when water is otherwise scarce.What’s special about the Derwent?

Living in Hobart, the Derwent is part of our everyday life – we see it every day, we walk or drive alongside of it and use bridges to cross it. One of the reasons it’s special is because it is a mix of fresh river water from the upper estuary, and tidal seawater from the ocean. We can feel this when we stand on the edge and smell the brackishness of the water. Being connected to the ocean and yet sheltered and secluded, the Derwent is a special sanctuary and habitat for animals that need this protection in their juvenile stages when they’re vulnerable. Plus, we have species in the Derwent that are specifically adapted to living here and nowhere else, and rely on us to do our bit and look after our waterways, keep our impact as low as possible, so that they can thrive. We also have migratory birds that rely on one of our types of local wetland – the saltmarsh – to feed. Some of them go on amazing journeys every year and fly over 15,000kms to their breeding sites in Alaska and Siberia.

That sounds like there’s plenty of habitat and biodiversity – why would our local wetlands be threatened?

Wetlands aren’t always seen as the superstars that they are, but perceived as smelly, boggy places that aren’t attractive or valuable. This has led them to being converted and stripped of their value. In Hobart, saltmarshes have been converted into tips, some have been claimed for industrial areas and others are degraded due to grazing from rabbits and livestock, weed invasion and the impact from motorbikes and cars. This means we’re left with fewer, isolated wetland sites along the estuary that need looking after.

How can I help?

And this is where you can come in and be a hero for our local wetlands! Our goal is to rehabilitate the existing wetlands along the Derwent and re-establish them where they have been removed but are staging a comeback! What this looks like practically: when we rehabilitate sites, we hand-weed, clear, clean-up areas and maintain them. We remove invasive weeds and give native vegetation a chance to catch up, thrive and provide food and habitat for species that rely on them. When we re-establish coastal ecosystems, we often prepare the site by weeding and clearing, and then comes our favourite part: planting natives, and coming back a few months later to check on them and see our impact.

But that’s not all: you can also learn about our local wetlands through guest speaker sessions, workshops, and expert talks that we hold regularly, often on the sites where we’ve done work previously.

Everyone is welcome at our volunteer events, and we can guarantee you’ll learn something new, recharge while working in nature and getting your hands dirty, and meet a like-minded, friendly bunch of fellow volunteers. Check out our upcoming events and take action for the environment and be part of building climate resilience for your local natural areas.

Can’t attend events on the ground?

We know that it’s not always easy to find time to volunteer with us, so we’ve created ways for people to take action anywhere, anytime. Everyone can take part and help build resilience and adaptation to climate change!

Take action from home with our two app-led activities available on our CVA Community app:

  • Contribute to cooling your neighbourhood by planting climate-resilient native species in your backyard or on your balcony with Nature Blocks.
  • Lower your household carbon footprint by participating in the SeaToSource Plastic Waste Challenge and cutting back on your consumption of fossil fuel-based plastics.


Download the CVA Community app and get started now!


🌟 Why Become a CVA Nature Steward? 🌟

  • Inspiration: Be a part of something bigger than yourself.
  • Empowerment: Your actions can change the course of nature.
  • Personal Connection: We speak your language and make it relatable.
  • Inclusivity: Everyone is welcome, and every contribution counts.
  • Optimism: Focus on win-win scenarios for nature and people.
  • Action-Oriented: Immediate, tangible steps you can take.
  • Fun: Enjoy the journey of making a difference.
  • Education: Learn about biodiversity and conservation while having a blast!