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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

10 February 2005

WA Waterwatchers earn national recognition


Two outstanding members of the Ribbons of Blue/Waterwatch WA network today received national awards recognising their efforts to protect local waterways and encouraging students to get involved.

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today congratulated Brendan Kelly from Bunbury and Mike Johnson from Geraldton, as well as the other 12 recipients of the National Waterwatch Awards who were announced at a special ceremony in Melbourne last night.

“Brendan and Mike are very deserving winners of these awards. They have both worked hard to build up the Ribbons of Blue program in their communities,” Senator Campbell said.

“Brendan served as the Coordinator of the Leschenault Ribbons of Blue program in Bunbury from 1993 to 2003 and during that time developed very strong relationships with teachers, students and community groups. He is very enthusiastic about his work and strives to make learning fun for everyone, demonstrated by his writing and singing of the Ribbons of Blue Riffle Song .

“Mike has been the Coordinator of the Mid West Ribbons of Blue in Geraldton project for the past 10 years and during that time has instigated a huge range of river restoration projects in the area. Due to his enthusiasm for his work, his generosity with his time and his ability to forge strong partnerships, Ribbons of Blue is an integral part of the Mid-West community. Many of Mike's creative engineering and artistic ideas have been adapted by other Ribbons of Blue Coordinators.”

Ribbons of Blue is part of the Waterwatch Australia network. The Australian Government supports the Waterwatch Australia Network through the development of technical resources, strategic direction and networking opportunities.

Waterwatch is a national community water quality monitoring network that encourages all Australians to become involved in the protection and management of their waterways and catchments. The Australian Government started Waterwatch in 1993 in recognition of growing community concern for water quality.

“Since Waterwatch began, the number of monitoring groups has grown from 200 operating in 16 catchments, to nearly 3000 groups in 200 Catchments. Around 500 sites are monitored regularly. The Waterwatch network is made up of people like Mike and Brendan, community groups and school groups who undertake biological and habitat assessments and physical and chemical tests to build up a picture of the health of their waterways and catchments,” Senator Campbell said.

“I congratulate Brendan and Mike for their outstanding efforts in protecting their local environments and hope their hard work motivates other Australians to get involved.”

Brendan and Mike were both nominated by Bronwyn Ryan, Community Education Program Manager with Ribbons of Blue/Waterwatch WA.

For more information on Waterwatch, visit www.waterwatch.org.au

Media contact:
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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