The Werribee River Association is a properly licensed and affiliated group with Waterkeeper Alliance, an international organisation for raising the status of the community's call for swimmable, drinkable, fishable water. The title Riverkeeper is a trademark of Waterkeeper Alliance.
Waterkeeper Alliance, Inc. connects and supports local Waterkeeper programs to provide a voice for waterways and their communities worldwide.
To champion clean water and strong communities, Waterkeeper Alliance, Inc.; Supports and empowers member Waterkeeper organizations to protect communities, ecosystems and water quality; Promotes the Waterkeeper model for watershed protection worldwide; and Advocates for issues common to Waterkeeper programs.
The Alliance is about lifting the status of the concerns by the ordinary community about safe water for all. The Werribee River Association supports that aim, and has undergone affiliation, licensing and training with passion and professionalism. WRivA has satisfied quality assurance procedures and follows guidelines and performance requirements with regard to hosting the Riverkeeper role.
Werribee Riverkeeper has worked for the Werribee River for many years. He has been active on the ground, in community engagement and in advocacy for the river. John is shown here signing the Riverkeeper licence agreement with Marc Yaggi, Waterkeeper Alliance Executive Officer at the River Rally Conference Pittsburgh PA, May 2014.
When evaluating his time at the River Rally conference, John said,
“The conference reinforced the fact that ordinary people across the world are worried about governments not protecting water for the community, and allowing corporate interests to take precedence.”
While we have major concerns with Australia’s rivers, lakes and coasts, they are in better condition than some. Amazing stories were told by keepers of the huge problems brought about by war, misguided infrastructure development, reduced funding for environmental institutions, lack of enforcement, corruption, disregard of the law, serious chemical and other pollution such as massive dumping of rubbish, and loss of control over waterways and land by communities. The 500+ delegates at the conference represented non-profit and other organisations from parts of Africa, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, India, Iran, Mexico, and the USA. In their work, many of the organisations employ executive staff, lawyers, scientists and educators. A number of delegates were presented with ‘River Heroes’ awards for their work over long periods of time.
John worked throughout the conference on growth strategies, sources of funding for non-profits and social media. He also visited a coal mining and coal fracking field in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
John noted that,
“...Australian government and others are withdrawing support for community led environment initiatives, when this assistance is offered around the world by other countries to communities who know how to look after their waterways.”