Technology and tradition are at the heart of this year’s Reflections 2019-2020.
Reflections 2019-2020 is the Victorian Environmental Water Holder’s annual publication celebrating the efforts and achievements of program partners, Traditional Owners and local communities who work tirelessly to protect our waterways.
“Reflections provides us with the stories behind the statistics. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the past watering year and to showcase where, how and why we use water for the environment and the many benefits it provides for Victorian communities,” said VEWH Co-CEO Paulo Lay.
“Last year we saw scientists using new technology to tag and track native fish in the Tarago River, a new user-friendly interactive data catchment map for the Corangamite river catchments, and motion cameras installed at Wimmera wetlands sites to capture images of the native animals and birds spending time there,” he said.
The impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) created new challenges and saw waterway managers implement creative solutions to maintain connections while working remotely.
In western Victoria, Traditional Owners utilised technology in innovative ways to come together and share knowledge. Instead of physically travelling out on-Country they undertook ‘virtual visits’, visiting important places on the Glenelg River to take photos and footage, then uploading them to an online Virtual Tour platform.
Restrictions on movement and physical distancing also gave many Victorians a greater appreciation for the natural environment where visits to local waterways, wetlands and rivers have been a way to connect with nature, boosting mental and physical wellbeing.
At the Heyfield wetlands site this connection was evident with locals enjoying walking along the wetland path and birdwatching. The community celebrated the first delivery of water for the environment to this site in late 2019, which was a great step towards their goal of restoring it to a functioning wetland.
“Our beautiful natural environment has been a source of joy and comfort for Victorians this year. By improving waterway health and keeping our rivers, wetlands and floodplain forests alive, water for the environment is helping to preserve our environment for both current and future generations,” said VEWH Co-CEO Sarina Loo.
Reflections 2019-2020 is now available for download