Lucy Curno Media Releases Revive

#SeaToSource gives back to Georges River, NSW



To most, the Georges River is a natural playground to escape the cityscape of Sydney. But to creatures who reside in the river and its surroundings, it’s one big home, shared with 454 other local species — a big enough household to ensure no one tires of each other.

Sydney’s expansive George’s River flows across 8 different council areas and has an overall catchment of approximately 930 square kilometres. In short, it can’t be missed. This incredible waterway is the focus of #SeaToSource, Conservation Volunteers Australia’s (CVA) latest project in the region.

As part of #SeaToSource, CVA is showcasing eight rivers and urban waterways around Australia and sharing stories about their importance to the local environment and threats the rivers are facing from plastic litter. #SeaToSource aims to involve communities around Australia to tackle litter at its source, before it reaches our waterways, and ultimately to protect the Great Southern Reef which stretches from Western Australia to Queensland and includes the full New South Wales coast.

This month’s focus is the Georges River, and with 1.4 million people living within its catchment area CVA aims to educate and inspire communities on how they can protect their local river.

Like many other organisations this year, CVA has moved to use online platforms to enable people to take action for nature, to complement the hands-on volunteering they’re known for in the region. The CVA Campfire, their new digital community platform, allows people to share their personal experiences and stories with the Georges River, and encourages locals to initiate their own clean-up using an app called ‘Litter Stopper’. Each individual story and litter survey can be shared on The Campfire as a virtual community river clean up, alongside the monthly clean ups held at the Georges River.

CVA Project Officer, Teresa Gustowski, has been on the ground doing her part to clean the river throughout COVID-19, and says she can’t wait for more of the community to get involved.

“Having grown up here myself, I see the Georges River being a fantastic place to spend the day – swimming, fishing, bushwalking or simply taking a break from life in the concrete jungles of Sydney. That being said, we removed just over 60kg of litter from along the river this weekend – and it’s not going anywhere unless we change our relationship with litter and waste more broadly. Last month I found a bottle cap from the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, which goes to show just how pervasive plastic can be.

I’m excited to be a part of the movement to reduce litter in our waterways and to be on the ground educating people on how they can do their part! It’s also great we have a new digital platform where our communities can engage with each other and view the results from the litter collection. I’m very data driven, and I can’t wait to join the dots to see where this litter is coming from, and how we can address it at the source of the problem. By stopping litter before it enters our rivers and oceans, we can all be a part of taking action for nature.”

Georges Riverkeeper, an organisation that’s been working to look after the Georges River for over 40 years and regularly removes tonnes of rubbish from the catchment, supports #SeaToSource. Georges Riverkeeper Chairperson, Councillor Geoff Shelton says protection of the river is key to liveability and a thriving community.

“We work with the eight councils across the Georges River to ensure care of the river as a natural resource, and the more awareness of what residents can do to help, the better. It’s important to acknowledge that the Georges River provides us with such a rich quality of life, and that in turn we need do our part to look after it. We’re looking forward to working with CVA to encourage communities to consider their actions with litter, and to ultimately prevent it from reaching our waterways in the first place.”

CVA is inviting everyone who cares about tackling plastic litter to get on board and share their stories about their time spent on the Georges River.

Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) is a national organisation working with communities to rebalance nature for a stronger, more resilient future. We combine evidence-based practices and people power to make real and lasting change at scale. Founded in 1982, CVA is a leader in delivering practical initiatives, community involvement and training programs with volunteer opportunities offered all year round, to encourage anyone across Australia to take action for nature. Through our work, we’re building a more harmonious and helpful relationship between people and nature and we’ve been recognised with many significant awards, including the United Nations’ Environment Program Global 500, 6 Banksia Environmental Foundation Awards, Coastal Award for Excellence, UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations & Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships.

For more information, visit

#SeaToSource is a project supported by the Australian Government under the Environment Restoration Fund. Find out more at

#SeaToSource is part of Conservation Volunteers Australia’s Revive campaign, which engages communities to care deeply for their local aquatic habitats.

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