Every Morning With Red Symons on 774 ABC Melbourne

29 08 2008

Throughout the challenge i will be on Red Symon’s morning show so to listen to it via webstream


Landcare Heroes

29 08 2008

Landcare is about the people working on the grounds and taking the time and effort to bring our country back to live, they have been hard at work all across Australia. In both rural and urban cities. For too long they have gone unrecognised, its now time we show them our apprecation, support and admiration that they have got up,raised they hands, got on the ground and got dirty. So go on and visit www.landcareheroes.com to read their stories. You might be inspired to do something.

The support for Landcare S2S grows

28 08 2008

Jennifer Singfield, Moreton Baykeeper gets out onto the Yarra with Ian Penrose, Yarra Riverkeeper

Jennifer Singfield, Moreton Baykeeper gets out onto the Yarra with Ian Penrose, Yarra Riverkeeper

The Yarra Riverkeeper Association is pleased to support Chris in his Source-to-Sea challenge” says Riverkeeper Ian Penrose. “Our Yarra is suffering not just from pollution but also very low flows. Its total flow over the last year was only 13% of what it would be under average natural conditions. The combination of low rainfall and over-extraction has put our river under significant stress, and Chris’s kayak will at times be scrapping over the rocks. His momentous journey will draw much-needed attention to the plight of the river. But it will also highlight the Yarra’s special beauty and importantly celebrate the valuable work of the many community groups like ours in looking after the Yarra River, which is arguably Melbourne’s greatest natural asset.”

Environment Victoria shares the passion

28 08 2008
Environment Victoria's Leonie Duncan

Leonie Duncan

Environment Victoria’s Healthy Rivers Campaign congratulates Chris and the S2S team for taking on this great challenge. “Community concern for the Yarra’s health continues to grow . It’s great to see another passionate expression of that concern,” said Environment Victoria’s Leonie Duncan.
The Healthy Rivers Campaign looked forward to hearing tales from this unique on-river journey and hoped the recent extra rain would mean Chris could could stay paddling rather than having to walk. “Recent rain has given a bit of boost to our city’s great river system, which has been suffering badly from low flows. Over the last 12 months flows in the river have been just a fifth of the long-term average due to a combination of dry conditions and high levels of water extraction.”
Ms Duncan was also delighted by the S2S team’s offer to use the challenge as an opportunity to raise awareness of the Go Yarra Flow campaign, a joint initiative of Environment Victoria and the Yarra Riverkeeper Association. Go Yarra Flow aims to send a strong message to the Victorian Government that the people of Melbourne value a healthy Yarra River and that means we need Premier Brumby to deliver the river’s promised environmental flows.
“While the people of Melbourne have worked hard to save water, so far we haven’t seen any environmental benefit in terms of reduced extraction from the river. Many people aren’t way that the Yarra is the source of up to 70% of Melbourne’s water, which puts a big strain on the river’s health. We need the Brumby government to come good on it’s promise and deliver the Yarra’s promised environmental flows.”
For more information on Go Yarra Flow click here

Freediving marine biologist joins Landcare S2S challenge

26 08 2008
Sacha Dench

Sacha Dench

Australia’s top female freediver and marine biologist Sacha Dench, will join the S2S team to tackle the upper reaches of the Yarra River.

A leading member of Coastcare group Ecodivers, Sacha’s passion for all things above and below water is beyond argument.  Sacha currently holds the Australian record for depth and competed at the World Championships in Ibiza 2001 and Hawaii 2002. Impressively she can hold her breath for 6 minutes and 22 seconds.  Sacha trained in the UK and in France with Loic Leferme (deepest man in the world) and his team. Check out her freediving in the video here.

Despite her competitive bent, Sacha is particularly interested in freediving for leisure, be it shallow, deep, scenic, wrecks, and wildlife. Sacha has also developed an ongoing interest in rivercare after a stint working on both coast and river sites with turtle projects in Surinam, South America and the Kimberley.

Sacha joined Landcare Australia just over a year ago and will add to the team a scientific bent as we track down the river looking at the biology of the waterway. Sacha will also man the cameras and with her extensive knowledge of water safety, act as just that – safety officer! My life is in your hands Sacha. No pressure. – Chris

Landcare boss supports S2S

26 08 2008

Brian Scarsbrick CEO Landcare AustraliaThe chief executive of Landcare Australia, Brian Scarsbrick has wholeheartedly thrown his support behind the Landcare Week effort of paddling the Yarra River from source to sea. He says that while the paddle will highlight some issues along the river, it’s much more of a celebration paddle than one of protest .

“While the Yarra River continues to face its environmental challenges, there are still a lot of volunteers and organizations out there doing their best to improve the river and the situation. So the sea to source is a celebration of their efforts, too, and in keeping with Landcare Week, which this year is themed around Landcare Heroes.”

To recognise these heroes and the good work they do along the banks of the Yarra, Chris and the S2S team are inviting representatives from any environmental group along the Yarra – from landcare groups and ‘Friends Of’ groups to the likes of the Water Keeper groups – to come and say hello as they paddle downstream.


We’d love to see anyone en route or come and have a cuppa with us at the day’s end camp. See the Itinerary for details and be sure to contact us on 04303 76621 to let us know you’re coming. We’d love to see you and hear about the work you;re doing to help improve the health of the Yarra!

– Chris mob: 04303 76621


Landcare Yarra Source 2 Sea challenge launched

25 08 2008


Yarra River ‘Source to Sea’ challenge to highlight river health and land issues during Landcare Week (1-7 September)

Hi all and welcome to the beginning of a seemingly short but back breaking attempt to raise awareness of land and rivercare issues during Landcare Week (1-7 September) by our attempting to kayak the Yarra River from ‘source –to-sea’. I’ll be accompanied by experienced paddler Jarad Kohler from KEEN and Peak Adventure, along with a small support crew to tackle the 215km journey from headwaters located beyond the town in which I grew up, Warburton, all the way to the mouth of the Yarra River, finishing at Williamstown. The journey is expected to take six days.

It won’t be the first descent. In fact the last known source to sea was by David Roberts in 2004. Read about his adventure here. But he took around four weeks. We’ll be taking around five and a half days and will, unless challenged, take the title of fastest. But that’s not what this is about.

The catchment area of the Yarra River and its tributaries stretches over 4,000 square kilometres, with more than two million people living within its boundaries. That’s a lot of environmental pressure on one river. Growing up, I was lucky enough to have the Yarra River as a playground to swim in and float lilos down. The health of the river is something that was literally in our faces.
Landcare Week is all about increasing the public’s awareness of landcare issues,which includes the health of our land, our coastlines and our rivers. I figured that this journey might capture the public imagination. It will be interesting to see what we find from an on-river perspective and how much has changed since I was a kid.

The paddle is supported by Landcare Australia, Landcare Victoria, Coles supermarkets, KEEN footwear, Peak Adventure, Outer Edge magazine, canoe superstore Canoes Plus in Kew, Flint Interactive, Parks Victoria, Environment Victoria, Yarra River Keepers, Port Philip Westernport Catchment Management Authority, and the Department of Sustainability and Environment. And most crucially, my wife Nev and daughter Anouk.

The paddle will also link in to the Port Philip Westernport Catchment Management Authority’s newly launched Yarra4Life initiative. With strong community and private landholder involvement, and supported by local landcare groups, Yarra4Life aims to improve the health of landscapes surrounding the Yarra River’s headwaters in the Dandenongs. It launches on September 4th.

Along the way we will meet with landcare groups who work tirelessly on land and river work projects on the Yarra banks.

We’d love for you to join us on the journey: all paddlers are welcome get on the river for any section of the trip (See ITINERARY), especially the last leg which will pass the CBD and Southbank, before continuing under the Westgate Bridge to finish in Williamstown.

Join us at Herring Island at 10am for an 11am leave, arriving at Williamstown between 1 and 2pm. You’ll be greeted by a free and big BBQ kindly suplied by Coles supermarkets and KEEN footwear. (Thanks guys!)

Any questions, contact me (Chris Ord) on 04303 76621 or until the 29th August on chris.ord@landcareaustralia.com.au.

On the paddle (August 30 – September 4th), try me on the same mobile or on chris@crankyfish.com.au.