Fish hotels, bird spotting, and an opportunity to participate in a citizen science event will be highlights for paddlers taking to the Merri River for World Rivers Day.
Starting at 10am on Sunday, paddlers will make their way from the Viaduct Road footbridge along the lower reaches of the Merri River to the Wellington Road bridge.
MAD for the Merri’s Matt Kind said paddlers will remove rubbish from the river. Canoes supplied by Emmanuel College will act as “mother ships” to help collect the rubbish for disposal.
“We will try and paddle for 2 hours on the river, before enjoying a BBQ at Lake Pertobe,” Mr Kind said.
“It’s a little stretch of river that people don’t usually get to paddle.”
Stephen Ryan, from Glenelg-Hopkins Catchment Management Authority, will talk to participants about the health of the river and management of the fish population.
“This will be an opportunity to see how the Merri is tracking with plastic rubbish,” Mr Kind said. “It’s a great opportunity to participate in some citizen science research”.
Go Surf’s Keith Curtain said this was an opportunity for people to dust off their water craft after winter.
“This is a roll into summer and an appreciation of what we have in the south-west,” Mr Curtain said.
“Not just the beautiful beaches, but also the waterways which we should never take for granted.”
People attending with their own water craft will need to provide their own buoyancy vests.
Non-paddlers can follow the route by riding or walking along the Warrnambool-Port Fairy rail trail.