The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is partnering with an award-winning educational organisation to help Murray Bridge students investigate the region’s unique river system and the importance of careful management of water resources.
Petaurus Education Group will deliver the Basin Heroes pilot program to schools in the Basin, including the Murray Bridge area later this year, with a focus on the importance of the Murray-Darling Basin as a vital national asset.
As part of the pilot program, students from schools in Albury-Wodonga, Murray Bridge, the Sunraysia, Leeton and Goondiwindi will explore local catchment issues. They’ll engage with local landholders, Traditional Owners, educators and scientists through field trips and interviews and ultimately create a book based on their own investigations of the local environment and the wider Basin.
The MDBA’s Murray Bridge Regional Manager Brent Williams said it was paramount
that young people in river communities understood the wider significance of their part of the Basin and keeping their local river healthy for future generations.
“The Murray-Darling Basin is an ecological and economic powerhouse and Murray Bridge is an important cog in the wheel with its unique ecology, the Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth on its doorstep and its food production and tourism industries,” Mr Williams said.
“Through this partnership with Petaurus, school students will be introduced to hidden wildlife, fish and bugs that thrive in the area, to give them a deeper appreciation of the local ecology.
“It’s equally important that our younger generation reflect on how much we all depend on a healthy river system for drinking water, food production, tourism and culture.
“This project is one example of the MDBA’s commitment to working with regional communities to achieve the best long-term outcomes for a healthy Basin.”
Petaurus Education Group Program Coordinator, Caitlin Lawrence said her team would work with Basin schools and communities to improve their knowledge and appreciation of the freshwater ecosystems of the Basin, as well as the Basin’s importance for agriculture and communities.
“The Murray-Darling Basin is home to 2.2 million Australians including more than 40 First Nations and generates $24 billion in food and fibre and $8 billion in tourism. More than 120 waterbirds and 50 species of native fish live in the Basin,” Mrs Lawrence said.
“We will explore the Basin from a local and national perspective. Students will gain first-hand knowledge from landholders, educators, MDBA officers and Traditional Owners.
“We are working with other organisations including the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board to deliver the program.”
This is a pilot program across a select number of locations and an evaluation will be completed at the end of the year before a decision is made to roll it out further.
Schools interested in this program are welcome to contact Caitlin on 0434 208 849.