The River Torrens / Karrawirra Pari is the soul of our city. Huge effort has gone into making it healthier, especially over the last decade. Here’s some simple things you can do to help the river, too.

River Torrens at Hindmarsh Bridge

There is a lot to love about Adelaide’s River Torrens / Karrawirra Pari. The river has important and diverse plants and wildlife, is a great meeting spot for sport and other activities, plus it has many accessible paths, picnic areas and playgrounds for everyone to enjoy.

As such an important place for Adelaidians, as well as a vital system for our local wildlife and plants, the river has received a lot of attention, in terms of looking after its health. Our River Torrens Recovery Project has played a major role in the transformation of the Torrens into a healthier river system, and with our partners we are this year marking the 10 year anniversary of this project.

But with your help we can make the river even better. Here’s 5 things that you can do:

Tile with image of river and overlay text reading 'Keep our river litter free'

1. Keep our river litter free

Keeping rubbish out of the river has huge benefits for water quality and for local wildlife.

So remember, always take all rubbish away with you when you visit the river.

And where you can, make a conscious effort to remove litter if you see it along the banks of the river, when it is safe to do so.

Image of bridge over River Torrens with overlay text 'practice responsible fishing'

2. Practice responsible fishing

Fishing is a popular pastime, but did you know discarded equipment can have devastating impacts for wildlife?

It can cause entanglement for birds and aquatic animals.

Remember to always make sure you take any old fishing line, rope, hooks, or other equipment away with you, and dispose of it appropriately.

Image of person on path beside Torrens with overlay text 'Clean up after your dog and keep them on a lead'

3. Clean up after your dog and keep them on a lead around the river

Remember to pick up after your dog so that their poo doesn’t end up in the river. Dog poo is really nutrient-rich so it decreases the water quality.

Keeping your dog on a lead when walking the many trails around the River Torrens / Karrwirra Pari can also help as it reduces the risk of local wildlife being spooked, stressed, or even harmed, by a dog.

Split image, one side of the river, second side of a stormwater drain, with overlay text 'Help stop pollutants entering our river

4. Help stop pollutants entering our river

The actions you take in your own street and home can impact on contaminants entering our rivers.

After rain, stormwater travels over our streets, driveways, verges, and gardens, picking up all sorts of things that are not naturally found in waterways, but unfortunately can make their way there through our stormwater drains.

This might be the soap you wash your car with, litter, leaves, or even pesticides and fertilizers from your garden. You can help by reducing your use of chemicals and picking up litter, especially on your driveway and footpath where these pollutants are more easily swept away by water into our stormwater drains.

Split image of a driveway, permeable paving and a garden bed

5. Reduce hard surfaces

Hard surfaces, like your driveway or paths in your garden, can result in rainwater being channelled more quickly into stormwater drains – and more likely to pick up pollutants along the way.

You can help reduce or slow down the water that enters stormwater drains by creating more permeable surfaces, or surfaces that can soak in water. This might be by installing special paving, called permeable paving, which allows water to get through to the ground, or even just by swapping out hard surfaces for a garden.

Swapping to these permeable surfaces, or planting a native garden bed, is good for reducing pollutants in our rivers.

Our friends at Water Sensitive SA have more information on this topic.

Still looking for more you can do?

You can get involved in initiatives along the River Torrens / Karrawirra Pari to help protect this important system.

Councils run community events for weeding, plantings and even tours of the river. Connect with your local council to see what they have on, or follow us on Facebook for updates.

Or, read up on our rewilding the Torrens with platypus project and sign up to our newsletter to find out how you can get involved.

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