Using Citizen Science to drive Innovation

Competitive funding markets in natural resource management highlight the importance of developing a range of more economically efficient techniques to address estuarine erosion. Ideally, these should eliminate the need for heavy machinery, minimise requirements for additional approvals and be easily installed by community members with a minimum of resources They must be made readily available to, and easily utilised by landholders, community groups and professional natural resource managers. With these principles in mind TierraMar partnered with recreational fishers, oyster farmers and the NSW Department of Primary Industries to trial an innovative and cost effective approach for addressing estuarine bank erosion and mangrove regeneration in the Hastings River, in northern NSW, with potential for broader application across Australia. Despite the disappointment felt by all stakeholders involved in the project at the lack of seedling success, the project delivered exceptional results for recreational fisher involvement and community involvement in general. The incredible enthusiasm shown by the volunteers through the implementation of this project and their keenness to remain involved in other natural resource management projects, is an invaluable asset for NSW into the future. All involved in this project believed strongly that the technique has tremendous potential for landholders, community groups and natural resource managers and persistence with investigating this technique in various catchments continues to be a priority.

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