Community efforts to improve the Merri River's health have been recognised at the national River Basin Management Society's awards night.
The Merri Alliance has brought together south-west organisation to nurture the waterway and improve community connection since its inception in 2017.
The alliance was honoured with the Most Outstanding Waterway Management award at the November 15 ceremony.
MAD for the Merri is a founding member of the alliance and secretary Karen Walsh was thrilled to receive the accolade.
"The MAD for the Merri had been plugging away with little projects, but to have seen the improvement and action when all the groups and partners within the Alliance have worked together strategically is amazing," she said.
"To receive the recognition for that work is extraordinary, especially after hearing what all the other nominations in the award category have also been achieving."
Merri Alliance are responsible for erecting six-and-a-half kilometres of stock exclusion fencing, removing 18.58 hectares of weeds and planting 30,250 native plants along a five kilometre stretch of river, creating 114 habitat structures and two fishing platforms, reaching its crowdfunding goal to establish a fish habitat and they have recorded an 89 per cent increase in Black Bream population due to in-stream work among other initiatives.
Warrnambool City Council's coordinator of Sustainability and Natural Environment, Lauren Schneider praised the contribution of the alliance.
"The Merri River is such an important part of the Warrnambool landscape and the contribution from all partners of the Merri River Alliance is reflected in the recognition of the award," she said.
"The Merri River Alliance has provided an opportunity to strengthen partnerships and work together for the benefit of the environment and the community."
The shared goal of the alliance is to create "a healthy river flowing through a network of open spaces and cultural landscapes providing a range of recreation experiences and integrate it within the city community".
Works undertaken by the Merri Alliance have been completed through a combination of volunteer hours, in-kind support and funding through the Victorian Government's $222 million investment into waterway and catchment health, Victorian Fisheries Authority, and Alliance member authorities and organisations.
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