Making a splash for Saving our Species

Water – we drink it, we wash with it, we swim in it and, sometimes, we take it for granted, particularly when it comes to water as habitat for threatened species.

National Water Week 2017 (October) gave the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) the chance to highlight its important role in maintaining the health of NSW rivers and wetlands.

Many native birds, frogs, fish and plants, including several threatened species, rely on these vital habitats to survive and thrive.

Water managers from OEH are delivering water for the environment to rivers, creeks and wetlands across inland New South Wales. These managed watering events give native plants a chance to flower, set seed and provide healthy habitat for a range of native animals. They also provide opportunities for these animals to feed, breed and move through a river system that has been greatly changed by dams and extraction.

The Saving our Species (SoS) program is protecting and supporting a range of native water-dependent plants and animals, such as the critically endangered Bellinger snapping turtle through its Citizen Science actions with water quality testing on the Bellinger River in the state’s north.

Students on the banks of a river testing waterA team of OEH scientists keeps a watchful eye on the response of plants, animals and ecosystems to environmental water. They work in the field and in the laboratory to provide data that informs the decisions made within programs like water for the environment and SoS.

Along the east coast, OEH is involved in monitoring, maintaining and planning for the long-term health of coastal waterways from rivers and creeks to the oceans and beaches we enjoy.

Monitoring of shorebirds during their return to beaches during nesting season is a major SoS action in spring and early summer through the efforts of OEH staff and volunteers.

This report is based on excerpts of a Water Week media release by OEH Community Engagement Officer, Natasha Childs.

To find out more about OEH's role in the world of water, go to our Water topic page.

World Wetlands Day is coming up in February – see what SoS’s Central Hub has planned.