Sustaining River Life is a management, sustainability and environmental education package, developed for school children of all ages. Its goal is to help students develop awareness, knowledge, skills and commitment to river health.
The program came about through a collaboration between three river reach projects within the Murray-Darling Basin – the Namoi and Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach projects and the Macquarie RiverSmart initiative involving RiverSmart Australia and the Central West Catchment Management Authority.
The NFS recognised the value of this program and helped support the initiative to make it Basin-wide. The program includes lesson plans and activities about river animals, plants, water, habitats and people. The content was developed with input from a variety of educators and natural resource managers. The NSW NFS coordinators were involved in securing additional funds for the development of the package, as well as providing comment throughout production.
Throughout the life of the NFS, there was extensive engagement with school children of all ages, across all jurisdictions, particularly through NFS coordinators and CST members. Once the Sustaining River Life program was available, NFS team members would direct teachers and schools to the program, as well as provide them with additional resources to support delivery of particular lesson plans. There were also examples of NFS team members undertaking Sustaining River Life activities with schools during Native Fish Awareness Weeks in 2010 and 2011.