Freshwater Champions 2024!

The Moutere Catchment Group has won a Freshwater Champion Award for its contribution towards freshwater health in Aotearoa.

An educator, an artist, two community catchment groups and some trail-blazing farmers are being celebrated as inaugural, 2024 Freshwater Champions. The Moutere Catchment Group won a Cawthron Freshwater Champion Award for its ‘early impact’. More than 50 nominations across Aotearoa were submitted for the awards that celebrate groups and individuals restoring and protecting the health of our rivers, lakes, wetlands and aquifers.

The Moutere Catchment Group began only five years ago and now has over 200 members who’ve planted over 500,000 native trees, constructed two major wetlands and established over 50km of riparian fencing. Their passion and motivation to improve local waterways has achieved remarkable results and created an invaluable template to inspire other rural communities.

Speaking on behalf of assessors, Cawthron Freshwater Ecologist Kati Doehring said they were thrilled with the number and range of entries. “While this made it hard to determine just a small number of Champions, we are delighted by the stories and experience that our Champions offer to inspire others on this important journey.”

The Freshwater Champion Awards, launched in 2023, celebrates freshwater restoration efforts by groups and individuals across Aotearoa. They recognise the importance of freshwater health and celebrate people who’ve made a significant contribution to this by improving the state of our rivers, lakes, wetlands and estuaries, and share what these groups and individuals have achieved with the wider community.

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