Lucy Curno Revive

Tamar Estuary is the focus of nationwide project, #SeaToSource which supports communities to tackle ocean litter.


Greens Beach, mouth of Tamar Estuary

Like many CVA projects, the work with the Tamar Estuary aims to inspire people to look after the world around them. And what better place to start than the waters of Tasmania.

In fact, Sam Rye from Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) says this is the perfect time of the year to make a new year’s resolution to take action for nature in our own backyard.

“It’s time for us to spend time restoring nature, and in turn – benefitting from how nature restores us. Through our national survey launched at the end of 2020, people have been telling us they want to care for nature in their neighbourhood. So, what better way than starting with protecting our local waterways like Tamar Estuary?”

With a catchment area of 15% of Tasmania — including mountains, farmlands, towns and forests — the Tamar Estuary is a worthy waterway to be in the spotlight. With the Tamar being the January focus for #SeaToSource, Conservation Volunteers Australia’s (CVA) latest project in the region, CVA is looking at ways to keep this unique waterway protected from ocean litter.

#SeaToSource is a national project backed by the Australian Government, which focuses on eight rivers and urban waterways around Australia in the first year. Each of the rivers and waterways were chosen for their unique importance to their local communities, the species which rely on them, and threats the rivers are facing from plastic litter.  The aim is to involve communities around Australia to tackle litter at its source, and ultimately to protect the Great Southern Reef which stretches from Western Australia to Queensland and all around Tasmania. 

Within Tasmania, the Tamar Estuary is a precious spot for many who live along its wide fertile banks and visit the area to enjoy its wetlands and wildlife. The Tamar was once an extensive network of wetlands teeming with bird and fish life, but according to local CVA Project Officer, Ashleigh Carden, the river system has been altered significantly over the last two centuries to adapt it to farming, towns and shipping. 

“We are lucky to have areas of the Tamar wetlands protected, but there are serious threats to the health of the Tamar Estuary’s environment.

Through our ongoing work in the Launceston region, we know one of the key threats to these wetlands is plastic pollution, mainly concentrated around the towns and city centre. Plastic gets trapped in the wetland system, choking the native grasses that filter the water, and even killing the wildlife that live in these critical ecosystems, eventually flowing out of the estuary and entering the ocean, polluting the Great Southern Reef.

#SeaToSource removes plastic pollution through community clean-ups, and also educates people to understand and target sources of plastic pollution in their daily lives. Through the #SeaToSource initiative, you can become part of a national movement of people working together to make a real difference in their local environments.

We love supporting people from all walks of life to get involved in practical actions to protect places like the Tamar Estuary and other waterways across Tasmania. There are some amazing groups here in Tasmania who have been working in this space for awhile, so CVA will be working alongside them and making it possible for more people to take action and grow our positive impact together.”

Conservation Volunteers Australia is inviting everyone who cares about tackling plastic litter to get on board and share their stories about their time spent on the Tamar Estuary. For those interested in rolling up their sleeves to take action for nature, you can find out more about volunteer opportunities here: 

#SeaToSource is supported by the Australian Government under the Environment Restoration Fund.

Volunteers at the Tamar Estuary

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. 

Media Enquiries 

Can be directed to Sam Rye, Communications Manager, [email protected] 

More info about media enquiries and available stock imagery: 

Admin Office: 728 Barkly Street, BALLARAT VIC 3350